97-year-old ‘Rosie the Riveter’ finally earns diploma

METAIRIE, La. (NBC) –  It was a graduation deferred Tuesday in Louisiana. Deferred quite a while. But,  a 97 year old woman in Metairie finally got to pick up her high school diploma.

It’s a cap and gown and pomp and circumstance, as graduation day for Katherine Summers Martinson.  A day some 80 years in the making.

She said she never thought she’d have a diploma.

Martinson grew up in Mississippi.  She finished 11th grade, but didn’t get to graduate.

She quit school to help her family during the Great Depression.  As that ended, World War II was just beginning.

“During the war, I took a shop course. That’s how I learned how to use the tools. To do the riveting,” Matinson said. “It was a good group we worked with.  We enjoyed our work. Everything for the country at that time.”

A real life Rosie the Riveter.   One of thousands of woman who worked in factories and shipyards in support of our country’s war effort.

“It was always on my mind,” she said. “Several times, I’d think I could go back, but then it would be with such young kids, I’d think I can’t do that.”

But Tuesday her diploma came to her.

“It’s wonderful! Because I saw my 4 children all get diplomas.”

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