75-Year-Old Berrien High School Graduate

One local high school graduate will walk across a stage Friday and get his diploma, more than 50 years after he was supposed to graduate.

Charles Wetherington is a proud member of the class of 2004. Charles Wetherington left Berrien High School early more than 50 years ago so he could serve his country in World War II, sacrificing his education to serve his country.

Christine Wetherington, wife of graduating student, says, "He completed all the requirements when he was in the service, but he had just never gotten back around to going through the ceremony and this is something he wanted to do, so he's reaching his goal."

The Wetherington's contacted Berrien High and asked if Charles could finally take part in the graduation, even if it was more than 50 years late.

"Then, they called back and said they would be real honored and said the class would be honored to have Charles as a member of their class and he's been real excited about it."

Despite feeling the effects of a stroke many years ago, Charles will be ready to march with the 2004 senior class from Berrien County on Friday night.

"Some of them didn't know just what I was doing and they were asking questions. They were real nice, some of them spoke to me," says Charles.

Charles says he's never really regretted his decision to leave school early and serve his country. After that service, Charles and Christine married, and raised a family filled with high school and college graduates, and after Friday night, Charles will be able to join his children and grandchildren and proudly hold his diploma in hand.

Officials at Berrien High say they are proud to help honor a former student who served America in its time of need.