CARBONDALE -- It was a big night in Carbondale for a 90-year-old World War II veteran as he finally received his high school diploma.
Ronald Gilroy even walked the stage with the graduating class Wednesday night at Carbondale Area High School.
“I hereby present you with this diploma with gratitude for the service to our country and to our community,” said Carbondale Area High School principal Joseph Farrell.
Before the applauding graduating class, Ronald Gilroy, 90, finally received his high school diploma at Carbondale Area High School.
The World War II veteran was never able to graduate because he joined the army in 1944.
“When Ron was 17, he quit school and joined the U.S. Army to serve in World War II,” said Farrell.
Gilroy had left school in 1943 at the age of 16 when the high school was the then Benjamin Franklin High School.
Gilroy says a lot has changed in 73 years.
“Coming to school every day, we didn`t have school buses or nothing,” said Gilroy.
After serving in World War II, he spent another 10 years with the army, getting married and raising seven children in Carbondale.
Some of those children and grandchildren wept as Gilroy received his diploma.
“He always worked to make sure that we had everything that we had and he put as through school and through college so we just thought it would be good to do something for him,” said daughter Kim Johnson.
“To watch my grandfather do something that I had the pleasure of doing at this school and walk across this stage is a very honoring experience, I'm very proud for him,” said granddaughter Jessica Brennan.
“It's really exciting, I was able to graduate from Lackawanna Trail last year so to see him get to do it, finally deserving of it, it's really great,” said granddaughter Rachel Johnson. “I texted him the other day to see if he was ready for his graduation, he said yeah, he was really nervous for it so it was cute to see that.”