Late WWII vet receives high school diploma with help of sons

Late World War II veteran Edmund Pickelmann received his high school diploma, thanks to his sons. (Photo credit: Pickelmann family)

For his one-hundredth birthday, a World War II veteran, who's now deceased, is getting a special honor.

He will finally receive his high school diploma.

It was quite the journey to getting this piece of paper.

Edmund Pickelmann of Frankenmuth accomplished quite a bit in his 87 years from serving in the navy to sailing to Japan to encountering a typhoon.

But one thing he was unable to accomplish before he passed was receiving his high school diploma.

With the help of Edmund's sons, Wayne and Gerhard, they were able to get him that diploma.

"He'd probably say, 'Good job boys! I'm very proud of you,'" Wayne said.

The boys said their dad couldn't finish the 11th and 12th grade at Arthur Hill High School because his parents just didn't have the money.

"So he worked home on the farm, then the brewery and he enlisted in the Navy when he was drafted," Wayne said.

He spent years serving his country and then he came home and raised his four boys with his wife on the farm.

"He was strict with us boys... tough...," he said. "I always said when he got out of the navy, he never really got out of the navy because us four boys were his little sailors on the farm."

Wayne said even though he didn't graduate, education was always important to his father.

In fact, he served two terms on the Frankenmuth School Board.

"When I graduated he handed me my diploma... so that was kind of cool," Wayne said.

Now, Wayne is "handing" his dad his diploma.

"It's so neat that we got his diploma today on the eighth and tomorrow would've been his 100th birthday," he said.

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