NORTH BALTIMORE — North Baltimore resident Vic Kretz was honored last week at Waite High School in Toledo, where he was awarded his high school diploma, 70 years after he would have graduated.
Kretz, 90, left school during his junior year in 1943 to join the U.S. Navy during World War II.
“I wanted to do my duty and serve my country,” Kretz said.
According to the Toledo Blade, Kretz was assigned to the USS Coral Sea aircraft carrier and also served on a seaplane tender.
Upon his return from the service, he married his wife, Joanne. They were married nearly 65 years before her death two years ago, he said. They had seven children.
The Toledo native moved to North Baltimore in 1952 to accept a job as a meat cutter. Later, he went into construction work, eventually opening his own construction and masonry firm with a friend.
Four of Kretz’s five sons went into the military, three in the Navy and one in the Air Force.
Kretz said he was unaware one of his sons had arranged for him to receive his diploma. It was a surprise to him when the school called two weeks before last week’s ceremony to invite him.
A daughter and a son were there to see him accept the diploma.
“I couldn’t put into words what it meant to me. After 70 years it was quite an achievement. I was very proud to get it,” Kretz said.
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