82-year-old woman finally gets her diploma

Dylan Stableford

An 82-year-old woman who had been forced to drop out of high school following a bout with acute appendicitis finally got her diploma this week, the Patriot-News reports.

Grace Bomberger received an honorary diploma from Hershey High School in Hershey, Pa., on Monday after school officials heard about her remarkable story.

Bomberger grew up on a Pennsylvania farm. To get to school, she "had to walk two miles to a bus stop, take the bus to Campbelltown, and then switch to a trolley for the rest of the trip to Hershey."

In 10th grade, Bomberger missed so much time because of her appendicitis, she was ordered to attend summer school. But there was no public transportation in the summer in those days, and her father "needed the one old jalopy the family owned to get to work."

So Bomberger dropped out. "As a teenager, that was a big decision to make,” she told the paper.

Fast-forward 65 or so years, and Bomberger has the diploma she always wanted.

“I don't know how to describe it,” she told reporters at Monday's Derry Township School Board meeting. "I never, never imagined anything like this."

Acting Superintendent Joseph McFarland called Bomberger an inspiration.

“It shows the importance of education with what you went through to get to school,” he said.