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105-Year-Old Man Receives High School Diploma

(credit: CBS) Pat Ciarrocchi
In addition to anchoring and reporting news for CBS 3, Pat Ciarro...
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By Pat Ciarrocchi

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Montgomery County man is celebrating a few important milestones.

He just blew out the candles on his 105th birthday cake, shared a kiss with his wife on their 70th wedding anniversary — and earned his high school diploma!

CBS 3′s Pat Ciarrocchi has the story.

“I had to leave the Prep,” said Bill Mohr.

St. Joseph’s Preparatory School. The red brick facade on Girard Avenue, 89 years ago, was a doorway to a dream for Bill Mohr.

“I won a four year scholarship to St. Joe’s Prep,” continued Mohr.

Bill Mohr’s journey, that on Sunday, marked his 105th year of life, traveled a winding road.  It was 1926, and a 15-year-old uniformed Bill Mohr was forced into a different reality.

“After my Sophomore year, my mother said ‘Bill, your father’s plant is moving.  We have to move up there, for him to keep his job,’” said Mohr.

Bill had to get a job himself, the Prep was left behind. Work filled his days, World War II filled his mind, but Josie filled his heart. At 105, life markers come in big numbers, Bill and Josie are married 70 years.

No regrets, except one, he told his daughter.

“I regret I was not able to finish my high school years at St. Joe’s Prep. He wanted to finish so badly,” said his daughter Jodie Hartshorne.

Enter teacher Bill Conners and Prep’s president, who could only see one solution.

“We need to give him a diploma. Had Bill graduated with his class, this would have been his 85th reunion, so it is perfect,” Conners said.

Yes, perfect.

“If I die tomorrow, I’m not going to ask the Lord for anything. He has given me everything I need over the years. I can hardly say much more than that,” Mohr said.

Except, dream fulfilled.