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Two Harbors woman receives honorary diploma at age 80

Two Harbors resident Nancy Abrahamson, 80, holds her new honorary Two Harbors High School diploma after the ceremony at Ecumen Scenic Shores Care Center last week. (Photo courtesy Ecumen Scenic Shores Care Center)

June is graduation party season. But one grad party at Ecumen Scenic Shores Care Center in Two Harbors last week stands out.

Lifelong Two Harbors resident Nancy Abrahamson received an honorary high school diploma from Two Harbors High School. After her 80th birthday, Abrahamson discussed her dream of obtaining her high school diploma with Bethany Delvas, the assistant administrator at Scenic Shores, where Abrahamson has lived since 2016.

Delvas, in turn, reached out to the Two Harbors High School principal and told him Abrahamson’s story.

"Her parents had taken her out of school out of Two Harbors before she could complete it. They wanted her to work at home," Delvas said. "It had always bugged her that she never graduated."

Abrahamson's daughter, Lisa Hollinday, said her mother always encouraged her children to get their diplomas.

"If you grew up in that house, you were going to get your diploma. She always wanted one of her own and made sure we all graduated," Hollinday said.

Abrahamson was a homemaker, but Hollinday said her mother was always busy cooking, canning, gardening, knitting, crocheting and helping take care of the grandchildren.

"She's a lifelong learner," Delvas said. "In fact, I just learned that she's taking keyboard lessons at 80 years old. It just proves that you can accomplish things at any age.”

When asked how it felt to graduate, Abrahamson said she was "surprised and excited."

She has a few words of wisdom to share with the next generation of graduates as well: "Take it slow, study and don't goof off."

Teri Cadeau

Teri Cadeau is a reporter for the Lake County News-Chronicle. 

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