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Dying wish fulfilled: Lincolnton father with ALS watches daughter graduate thanks to in-home ceremony

Because of Jonathan’s condition, the family reached out to Lincolnton High School’s principal, Scott H. Carpenter, to ask if a special in-home graduation ceremony was possible.
In front of friends and family Sunday evening, Jonathan Eudy got to watch his youngest...
In front of friends and family Sunday evening, Jonathan Eudy got to watch his youngest daughter, Elizabeth, graduate from high school. He died less than 48 hours later.(Eudy Family)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 11:56 PM EDT
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LINCOLNTON, N.C. (WBTV) - In front of friends and family Sunday evening, Jonathan Eudy got to watch his youngest daughter, Elizabeth, graduate from high school. He died less than 48 hours later.

Jonathan Eudy had battled ALS for more than two years. The Lincolnton father was diagnosed with the incurable disease in 2020. Family members said that at the time of his diagnosis he was told we would have two to five more years to live.

The Eudy family said Jonathan has had two main goals since being diagnosed with ALS: walk his eldest daughter, Erika, down the aisle at her wedding and watch Elizabeth graduate from high school. He completed the first task, but seeing Elizabeth graduate in June would be more of a challenge as his condition worsened.

In a previous interview with WBTV, Elizabeth Eudy explained how important it was to have her father witness her graduation.

“It’s really important to me because I really do love my dad and I’m so thankful he got to walk her down the aisle so I would be really excited for him to be there at my graduation,” she said last Friday.

Because of Jonathan’s condition, the family reached out to Lincolnton High School’s principal, Scott H. Carpenter, to ask if a special in-home graduation ceremony was possible.

Carpenter said the family called him Sunday asking if the ceremony could happen as soon as possible.

“Sunday afternoon about 5:30 I received a phone call and they said, ‘Can you come now?’ and I said ‘absolutely’,” Carpenter said.

Within an hour, the impromptu graduation ceremony was held in Jonathan’s bedroom at the Eudy family home in Lincolnton. Several family members gathered in the room to watch the graduation.

“I had nothing written down or prepared, but I said, ‘What I’m gonna do, I’m gonna be speaking from the heart’,” said Carpenter.

He spoke about Elizabeth Eudy’s humbleness, humility and her spirit on the basketball court. Jonathan was able to watch the entire ceremony from his bed. After a brief program, Carpenter asked Elizabeth to turn the tassel on her graduation cap as the room erupted with cheers and applause.

Jonathan Eudy died less than 48 hours after the impromptu in-home ceremony. Elizabeth said she was very thankful Carpenter and others from the community helped to make the celebration happen.

“It was so special because we were surrounded by family and the principal who’s known my family for a long time. It was really special to just have that moment surrounded by the people you love,” said Eudy.

Carpenter said the ceremony with the Eudy family is an experience he will never forget.

“I wanted to do it and I wanted to do what was right and that was what Mr. Eudy’s wishes were and I wanted to make sure that that happened,” said Carpenter.

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