A World War II veteran who flew planes for the Navy and received his college degree last spring nearly 70 years after he last sat in a classroom has died, his family said.
He was 97.
Bob Barger died Wednesday at a Toledo retirement community where he lived, according to Newcomer Funeral Home and a family friend.
He graduated from the University of Toledo in May after a review of his transcripts from the late 1940s showed he completed enough courses to qualify for an associate’s degree — a two-year diploma not offered when he was still in school.
“It was something I never dreamed of,” he said after learning he would get his diploma. “I knew I couldn’t go back to school now.”
Barger was honored at the school’s commencement ceremony, where he received his degree to a standing ovation.
The White House later paid tribute to Barger, who received a letter from President Donald Trump.