CHS Principal David Schill presents Wilbur ‘Sonny’ Walker (center) with his high school diploma while Jackson County Veteran’s Service Office Keith Boling looks on. Other area veterans who quit school to join the military during wartime may also be eligible to receive a high school diploma. Inquiries should be made of Boling at 358-6115.
The Crothersville High School Class of 1943 has a new alumnus. Wilbur ‘Sonny’ Walker became the newest if not the oldest newest graduate of Crothersville High School when he was presented with a diploma as a member of the CHS class of 1943.
In 1941 Walker quit school to join the Navy and fought in World War II until a health issue prompted his honorable discharge.
He came back to Crothersville and began working factory jobs like many other young men at the time. He raised a family, retired, enjoys his grandchildren and drinking coffee at some of the local coffee shops.
But despite a fruitful, successful life, he never received a high school diploma.
That is, until former Jackson County Veterans Service Office Mike Fink began the process, under a new Indiana law, to procure high school diplomas for wartime service men and women who quit school to join the country’s armed forces.
Walker is the first veteran of Crothersville to become a late-in-life graduate.
At a special recent graduation ceremony at school, with family and friends in attendance, the 86-year-old Walker became the newest CHS grade when local principal David Schill presented him with his 1943 diploma.
“This is nice. I am very proud,” Walker said before quipping “Do you suppose this will let me get a good job now?”
He then smiled as he pointed to the signatures of the local school officials who signed his diploma. “Are you sure this is legit?” he asked. “They weren’t born until after ’43.”