WARNER, Ohio (WJW) — This Memorial Day weekend is extra special for an Ohio veteran whose only regret was never getting his diploma.
91-year-old Wilbert Antill, of Warner, received his diploma Saturday evening from Fort Frye High School alongside his great-grandson, the Antill family told FOX 8.
Antil entered the US Marine Corps in 1948 when he was 18 years old. He spent three years stationed in Cherry Point, North Carolina before deploying to Korea in 1951. Antill served as an airplane mechanic while oversees.
He was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant in 1952 and returned to Ohio, where he worked in numerous fields, including construction and at a bakery.
His family says he served as president of the Washington County Board of Health for 12 consecutive terms. Antil was also president of the local Home Builders Association for several years and a founding member of the Salem Township Fire Department where he served as chief for quite some time. He was also a traveling minister.
Back in 2018, Antill was preaching at Lower Paw Paw Church of Christ in Lower Salem and, during his sermon, shared that his only regret in life was not receiving his high school diploma.
His granddaughter, who was listening to his sermon, was inspired and contacted Fort Frye High School. The school worked with the family to help Antill complete what was needed for him to graduate.
On Saturday, he wore his gap, gown, Marine dress blues and received an honorary diploma from the school.
All of Antill’s children graduated from Fort Frye High School, as did many of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.