97-year-old ‘Rosie the Riveter’ graduates 80 years after leaving school to help her family

Cropped shot of a graduate receiving a degree
Cropped shot of a graduate receiving a degree

Credit: PeopleImages

Credit: PeopleImages

A real-life “Rosie the Riveter” has finally graduated, more than half a century after she quit school to help her family.

Katherine Martinson is 97 years old but graduated as a member of the class of 2017, WDSU reported.

Martinson left school after 11th grade to help her family. It was during the Great Depression. She didn’t go back to school because as the country rebounded, it was plunged into World War II.

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Martinson said she took a shop course to learn how to rivet, and she joined the thousands of women who hung up their aprons and picked up tools in factories and shipyards doing their part for the war.

After the war, also like many women, Martinson got married and had four children, but she always wanted to go back to school. She just didn't know how to do it, WDSU reported.

That was until this week, when she received an honorary diploma from Picayune Memorial High School.

She told WDSU, "It means so much to me. It's wonderful. I saw my four children all get diplomas."

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