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Naomi Wheatley Thompson should have graduated with her Evanston Township High School class in 1935, but she had to drop out to work to help her mother take care of the family during the Great Depression.

So Tuesday morning, ETHS Superintendent Eric Witherspoon will present her with an honorary diploma in a special ceremony in the Welcome Center at the high school, fulfilling a lifelong dream for her and her family.

Born May 31, 1917, Thompson is the second eldest of six children and became an Evanston resident as a young child when her family relocated to Illinois from Washington. She attended the school from 1932 to 1934

Thompson aspired to be a writer and began writing poems in her 50s.

The ceremony Tuesday is scheduled to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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