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CA man learns how to read at 84

NBC
News
Monday, February 24, 2014 - 1:48pm

An elderly California man had gone his whole life without knowing how to read, but for the first time at the age of 84, he learned how.

Printed on the pages of a book are the words that share the *stories of humanity--until now 84 year old John Var's story was one of a man who couldn't read.

Three years ago he walked into the Roseville Public Library.

"I looked at this lady like I'm looking at you, can you help me find this book I'm not a good reader, we have tutoring here," said Var.

Every week since then he's ventured back.

And the work doesn't stop in the library... Just ask his wife of 54 years... Ellie.

"You hear this reading constantly, 6 in the morning 6 at night, he's reading, he's reading," said wife Ellie.

She's the girl he wed in San Francisco in 1960.

At the time she didn't know his secret.

I caught on after we married because we didn't live together before marriage, so if we were in a restaurant he just said I'll have what you're having," Ellie said.

They had four kids together.

Jon built a successful career as a carpenter.

"He's going on 85 and he's on a roll. He's not fixing anything around the house anymore, he just wants to read," Ellie joked.

As for the book he was searching for that day he walked into the library, a biography of a great inventor.

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