Elderly Oklahoma Woman Waits Lifetime For High School Diploma


Monday, August 13th 2012, 11:21 pm
By: News On 6


A 95-year-old Ponca City woman is having more fun now than she did in her first nine decades combined.

Lois Turner is checking some wild adventures off her bucket list, the biggest of which happened Monday night.

She's waited a lifetime for a moment many of us take for granted.

Even with a smile on her face, Lois Turner will tell you she's had a hard life. That's why she said she's tickled so many friends showed up as she received her high school diploma Monday night.

"It seems to complete everything. I've always wanted to have a party of my own, and I'm having it," Turner said.

At age 95, Turner said finally getting her diploma is a dream she's had for 70 years.

"Yes, I've always wanted an education," Turner said.

Turner was abandoned by her father and orphaned when her mother died just days before her seventh birthday, The youngest of five children, she was pulled out of school after fifth grade in Shawnee and was shuffled around between different relatives for years.

When America entered World War II, Turner enlisted in the U.S. Army. She was stationed in Florida as a clerk for a message center.

"I had a brother that was in the Navy and a brother that was in the C.B.'s, and I felt that if I did my part in the war, that maybe they'd come home," Turner said.

Home later became Ponca City. Turner moved there after the service and worked hard for the rest of her life.

She finally let loose when she turned 90, first riding in a helicopter, then taking a spin on a gyroscope, and finally--skydiving.

"I just had always wanted to jump out of an airplane," Turner said. "And it looked like so much fun, and I had never had much fun in my life, and I thought, well, I might just as well do that."

The diploma was her final wish, and thanks to a 2001 Oklahoma law, state Superintendent Janet Barresi awarded it to her.

Turner is the only Oklahoma woman to receive her diploma under the military veteran law.

Lois Turner, class of 1935.