WWII veteran, 91, gets honorary degree from Davis HS

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A World War II veteran who was drafted before he could finish high school received a very special birthday present this year.

John Kressley, who turned 91 on Nov. 7, accepted an honorary diploma from his alma mater, Davis High School, during a special celebration coordinated by his four children that more than 30 family members attended.

“He didn’t get to finish in 1942 because he got drafted, so his daughter requested an honorary diploma,” said Dr. Julissa Alcantar-Martinez, principal of Davis HS. “I was so proud as principal to be able to make this dream happen for him, and excited to connect history to reality for our students, and thank him for his service.”

“There are no words to express our gratitude for making this dream possible,” said Kressley’s daughter, Judy Smith. “My family and Dad were blown away by such generosity of spirit. His diploma was something he always regretted not having and stressed the importance of obtaining one to his children.”

4 thoughts on “WWII veteran, 91, gets honorary degree from Davis HS

  1. Judy Smith

    Thank you for honoring my Dad. Our family is so appreciative of everyone’s efforts on his behalf and providing him with something he has always aspired to. He is so proud to be a Jeff Davis Alumni and he has hung his cap/gown, Medals for Excellence and diploma in his room so he can admire them daily. Our hearts are full with such generosity for all those who made this event possible.

  2. Darlene Harvey

    I am grateful that your father was honored. I pray your family’s continued success at all things of honor. My father Solomon J. Williams also is a WW II veteran. He is 93 years young. He came out to my school and blessed my class and many, many others with his stories and his presence. I thank God for his life and his ability to continue to love and share his life with others.

  3. Trina Jones

    That was a wonderful sentiment that Davis expressed to Mr. Kressley. We should be thankful to him and men and women like him who served their country at the drop of a hat.

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