A 99-year-old Iowa woman who dropped out of a high school more than 80 years ago despite needing only one credit to graduate has finally received her diploma.
Audrey Crabtree, of Cedar Falls, smiled Monday as she received an honorary diploma for her time at Waterloo East High School.
“And I feel so much smarter,” Crabtree quipped.
Crabtree, who began her education at a one-room school house in northeast Iowa, left high school in 1932 after a swimming and diving accident that forced her to miss several school days. She also had to care for her sick grandmother.
“I was a senior, but I was short a credit, so I would’ve had to go back the next fall,” she told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.
That would have interfered with her plans to marry her first husband. In 1957, the couple bought the flower shop where Crabtree had worked after their two children started school. But her husband died of a heart attack two months into their business venture.
Crabtree operated Flowers by Audrey for 28 years. She married two more times and outlived both husbands. Her family today includes five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Woman rows solo from Japan to Alaska
Sarah Outen, 28-year-old British adventurer, became the first woman to row solo from Japan to Alaska, arriving late Monday at a small town in the Aleutian Islands after 150 days and 3,750 miles at sea. She left Choshi, Japan, on April 27. It is part of her plan for a global trek by an ocean rowing shell, kayak and bike. Her boat, Happy Socks, capsized five times. She also fought the psychological battle of being alone. In the last few days, she almost hit a cargo ship after her radar failed, and battled cooling temperatures and increasing darkness. One highlight of the voyage, said the Oxford biology grad, was a shark circling her as she rowed.