"It's something I have always wanted to do," said the 79-year-old Chamberlain. "I had a great time tonight and I thank everyone who has helped me achieve this goal."
Born and raised in Chester, Chamberlain's father died one month shy of his second birthday. Raised by his mother, he and his siblings had a good, but difficult life.
"Finances were rough, so I did what I needed to do," he said. "I didn't want to leave school because I loved it at Chester High, but my mother needed money."
Chamberlain joined the U.S. Army and left for basic training at Ft. Knox, Ky. Trained as a medical technician, he deployed to Germany in September 1951 Every month, he religiously sent his mother $40.
"I know that doesn't seem like a lot of money today, but in 1951, $40 was a decent amount," said Chamberlain. "My mother made good use of the money and I didn't mind sending it to help her at all."
Chamberlain spent three years in the service and upon returning to the states, accepted a job with Gallagher and Son in Eddystone.
During those years Chamberlain married his wife Mary (Keeley) and the couple resided with his wife's parents in Trainer Borough. Mary died in 2008 and seeing no need to maintain a large home, Chamberlain moved to the Village Green Mobile Home Community where he met a "lovely lady," Geri Salvucci, with whom he enjoys going to dinner and spending time.
"I am so happy for Ed," Salvucci said. "This is just wonderful."
Sitting in his meticulously kept home, Chamberlain, who does not look his 79 years, said he has never been a person to sit idle. He lifts weights daily and has taken two computer classes at Neumann University.
"It was great meeting some of the Class of 2013 and I was accepted with open arms," he said. "I'm hoping this might inspire someone else who did not graduate to either go back to school or if they joined the military, to pursue their diploma. Education is really the key. There is so much a person can do with education."
Information from: Delaware County Daily Times, http://www.delcotimes.com