Sandra Blackmer Applause erupted and people rose to their feet as 85-year-old Claire Ritchey walked across the stage at Parkview Adventist Academy in Lacombe, Alberta, to receive her high school diploma. More than six decades after Ritchey left high school following her completion of grade 11, she finally achieved this lifelong goal.
Ritchey worked in the field of accounting for 30 years while she and her husband, Donald, now deceased, raised three children. Not having a high school diploma, however, “bothered me all my life,” the Lacombe Express reported Ritchey as saying. “I’d dream about going back to school.”1
Taking classes with students much younger than she didn’t intimidate the young-at-heart Ritchey. “I’m 85, and I probably look it, but I don’t feel it,” she said during a ... »