97-year-old Margaret Thome Bakema was inconsolable as she received her honorary diploma from her school. She quit her education 79 years ago to care of her mum who was stricken with cancer. She later got a job at a preschool and worked there for 17 years.

Margaret has received an honourary degree from her old school, Grand Rapids Catholic Central High, who say she embodies all the core values they strive to teach their students.

‘Her life has been one of sacrifice and service. It has been so encouraging and inspiring for our community because her choices represent all the core values that we teach our students.’ Principal Greg Deja told MLive

‘I had to quit school to take over the family. It was hard, you have no idea how hard that was. I loved high school and I had lots of friends.’ Margaret said.

Gerri, her daughter said her mother had always regretted not graduating and she’s extremely happy about the honour.

‘She is the type of person that whatever life hands her, she just deals with it very graciously. She does what has to be done and she doesn’t complain about it or make a big deal about it, she just does it.’ she added.