85-year-old man finally gets high school diploma

Published: Jun. 27, 2016 at 5:59 PM CDT
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After nearly 68 years, one Huntsville man can finally call himself a high school graduate

At 85 years young, Werner Litzmann just received his diploma from Columbus High School. It's something he was on track to get in 1948.

"It's another life achievement. It's a plus," said Litzmann.

His granddaughter, Jennifer Drane, added, "For as long as I can remember, he's always mentioned not having had his high school diploma."

At the time, Litzmann was one English credit short from graduating.

"American History and English IV were two required subjects and they were both taught at the same time, so I couldn't take both, so I would have had to go back another year to get it, which wasn't financially feasible," said Litzmann.

He left high school to continue working before joining the Marine Corps, where he got his GED. But after years of hearing her grandfather talk about not actually getting his high school diploma, Drane decided to do something about it. She reached out to his high school to see what he needed to do.

"Within an hour, they were calling me back and said they had the diploma ready to go," said Drane. "Columbus High School did call TEA and verified he did meet all the requirements for graduation."

Complete with his cap and gown, it was a moment this family will never forget.

"We were all in tears, it was pretty exciting," said an emotional Drane.

Litzmann said it was his family's thoughtfulness that meant more than the diploma.

"It showed my family thought about me, and I guess that's the biggest thing I got out of it," said Litzmann.