NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It took a decade of hard work, discipline and a whole lot of support, but an 85-year-old grandad finally graduated Tuesday, receiving his degree at Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn.
The last time Joseph Pinsky donned a cap and gown was in 1944 when he graduated from high school. His major was aviation mechanics, which he put to good work.
“I went into service, there was a war going on,” Pinsky told CBS 2’s Dana Tyler.
After serving in the Philippines, Pinsky came home and eventually went to work for the U.S. Postal Service as a supervisor of mail carriers. After retiring, the only reason he went back to school was because of his wife of 38 years.
“I did that to waste time because she said get out of the house,” Pinsky said.
“I’m very proud of him because I asked him ‘What are you going to do when you retire? You have to do something,'” said Pinsky’s wife, Rosalind.
While Pinsky may have preferred fishing, he found college rewarding.
“Believe it or not, working with young people, it was stimulating and they treated me like one of the group,” Pinsky said.
It took Pinsky 10 years to finish his course work due to serious illnesses and surgeries for both him and his wife.
He admitted while he didn’t care much for philosophy, he enjoyed learning about meteorology.
“So when John Elliott’s talking meteorology, I understand what he’s talking of,” Pinsky said, referring to CBS 2’s morning meteorologist.
“He wasn’t sure he wanted to go back after he was sick, I said ‘No no no, you just don’t quit…you’re able, you do. You started, you finish,'” Rosalind Pinsky said.
And finish he did, but not without a few funny stories to tell.
“I’ll tell you something, I took a course called ‘walk, jog, run’ and I walked with a cane,” Pinsky said.
And what happened when his beloved bride got a call he had fallen?
“I get to the school, I go in and he’s surrounded by a load of women, he’s playing some video games,” Rosalind Pinsky said. “So I said no more running, just walking, no jogging even.”
Their advice for other retirees?
“Keep active, get out of the house for a couple of hours a day. It will do you a big favor and whoever is home with you, it will do wonders for them,” Rosalind Pinsky said.
“It keeps your mind active, that’s important,” Joseph Pinsky added.
Even more important is the fact that Joseph is a good role model for his grandson.
“I want to study what I’m studying now — math, science, social studies, everything,” Kyle Murphy said.
Joseph Pinsky said he would love to continue his education and has his sights on earning a bachelor’s degree.
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