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101-year-old graduates from high school

Man's children reach out to school for honor

John Motes stood out at his high school graduation. The centenarian walked with the class of 2017, about 84 years after he should have graduated.
John Motes stood out at his high school graduation. The centenarian walked with the class of 2017, about 84 years after he should have graduated.

A 101-year-old Alabama man recently walked with the Goshen High School class of 2017, even though he should have graduated in 1933.

Due to a health condition, John Motes dropped out of school after his sophomore year, WSFA reported. At 18, he joined the U.S. Air Force as an engineer and served during WWII.

“He was smart as a whip,” Bettye Motes, his wife, told WSFA. “He just never got a chance to graduate.”

Seven months ago, his children contacted the school to see if he could participate in Thursday's ceremony.

“We asked the seniors if they would be willing to do it, and they were just beside themselves happy to do it,” Assistant Principal Anthony May told WSFA. “It’s something that just kind of got sprung on us, but we were really happy that it did.”

Besides making it to 107, Motes plans to enroll at the University of South Alabama this fall.

Motes said he’ll major in music.