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WWII Veteran’s Last Wish Fulfilled: Receives High School Diploma at 98



Quick Smiles:

  • A Pennsylvania superintendent and Legion Post 247 worked together to facilitate a dying veteran’s wish of receiving a high school diploma.
  • Despite the veteran originating from a different school district, they managed to print his honorary diploma and present it in a personalized graduation ceremony.
  • The veteran, who had served in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, passed away at 98 with a sense of pride and joy, his last memory being the receipt of his much-deserved diploma.

In an uplifting story from the Sharon School District in Pennsylvania, we see the power of human effort and heartfelt kindness. Superintendent Justi Glaros joined forces with James Cappuccilli, the second vice commander of Legion Post 247, to fulfill a unique request from a lifetime serviceman. This courageous Marine forsook higher education to serve in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam and had a simple yet significant wish: to attain an honorary high school diploma.

Richard Remp from Sharon, who later relocated to Poolesville, MD, felt motivated by observing another elderly Marine receive a diploma. He thought he might like to have one too. Upon learning this, Superintendent Glaros delved into the prerequisites necessary to award Remp this honorary accolade.

“Remp had fought in all three wars, but he had attended a neighboring high school, making it a more challenging task for Glaros to arrange everything.”

While the diploma was being prepared, a twist of fate occurred. Remp suffered a fall and was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer, which was rapidly attacking his liver. Given the bleak prognosis, time was pressing.

The neighboring school needed a month to process the honorary diploma. Considering Remp’s health, Glaros went above and beyond, rallying the school board and securing permission to print a diploma from their own high school instead.

“I’m blessed to be in the position to do this for this man,” Glaros stated. “The opportunity to give the diploma to him is what I wanted.”

Swiftly seizing the opportunity, Glaros drove four-and-a-half hours to Remp’s residence. In an intimate ceremony at his home, he was officially presented his diploma, encapsulating a moment of triumph amid challenges.


“The last thing he recalls is the fact that she came down and awarded him the diploma,” American Legion Post 247 Commander Julian Singh conveyed. “That was his last waking moment.”

Remp, who had received a combat commendation ‘V’ for valor, passed away at the age of 98, his final moments filled with a satisfying sense of achievement and pride. His wish granted, Remp’s story serves as an inspiring reminder of the beauty that can arise in even the briefest of moments when hearts are united by kindness.




  1. Lawrence Jacox

    June 5, 2024 at 1:04 pm

    He deserved his diploma. What a great way to honor th is man.

  2. Dennis Ardell

    June 5, 2024 at 2:09 pm

    Wow- many people are still like the old days
    Needed to hear this story
    Great news – always welcome
    So happy the veteran received his well deserved diploma

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