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Kerry woman (107) who emigrated to America finally fulfills dream of receiving high school diploma

Hanna Lovett was born in a small town in Kerry in 1910. She moved to the US when she was 12.

File photo
File photo
Image: Wayne0216 via Shutterstock

A KERRY WOMAN who emigrated to America when she was 12 has been awarded her high-school diploma at the age of 107.

Hanna Lovett was born in Kerry in 1910 and left school when she was a child to help support her family.

She initially moved to New York but eventually settled down in Mattituck, Long Island. It was here that she got married and raised six children.

As a young woman, Lovett completed a one-year programme to become a qualified nurse, helping to care for newborn babies. Later in life, she studied to work as a home help, according to

However, she had one regret in life – never earning her high school diploma.

A couple of months ago, Lovett’s daughter Ann reached out to the principal of Mattituck Junior-Senior High School to ask if he’d consider awarding her mother an honorary diploma.

Local author Sara Bloom had written a memoir about Lovett, which her daughter Ann gave to the principal, Shawn Petretti.

According to the, Petretti was taken by Lovett’s tale and awarded her an honorary diploma during the school graduation on last month.

Bloom wrote about Lovett’s childhood on a small farm with her parents and 10 siblings. The memoir also included recollections of when Lovett first met her husband.

“After speaking to her daughter and reading her memoir… it was clear that Ms Lovett deserved to be honoured with Mattituck’s Class of 2017,” Peretti told local newspaper Southold Local.

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Speaking to the crowd at the graduation, Peretti said:

“Mrs Lovett has had many adventures, and her experiences have certainly given her a rich education.

“She has gotten herself in and out of trouble, been resilient when she needed to be, been active in her community and assists those in need.

“Yes, I do believe she fits right in with the class of 2017.”

Lovett said:

It’s very good. I always wanted to go back to school and get a little more education.

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