My daughter stopped at a garage sale after work yesterday. She was about to leave when she spotted a small, black photo album. It looked to be pretty old, so she picked it up and looked inside.
There were many old photos is it, as well as a few documents. Many of the pictures showed men in uniform. Military uniform. The papers appeared to be some type of military documents. My daughter called and told me about the photo album and I told her to grab it, quick!
For $2, that old photo album now had a new home.
When she got to my house, she brought the old book in and opened it on my kitchen table:
One document contained a full name and social security number and another indicated that this man was a member of the US Air Force and was stationed in San Antonio in 1946.
So, armed with his social security number, I quickly found him in the SSDI. And since he was once stationed in San Antonio, I took a chance that he might have remained in Texas after his Air Force days and checked FamilySearch’s Texas, Deaths, 1890-1976 database. And there he was! He died at age 46 in 1976 at Carswell AFB hospital, right here in Fort Worth. According to the death certificate, he lived in White Settlement (a Fort Worth suburb) and was buried at Greenwood Cemetery, also in Fort Worth.
Next stop was Find-A-Grave and Greenwood Cemetery, where I didn’t find him but did find his wife, who died in 2010 at age 94. On his wife’s Find-A-Grave page was her full obituary, as published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The obituary listed no children, but many great nieces and nephew and some “very special friends.”
As I went to the Tarrant (County, Texas) Appraisal District’s website to try to find some information on who now owned her house, hoping it would be a relative, my daughter started looking online for her “very special friends”, hoping they could lead us to family members. Turns out the friends’ address was located on the same street and very near to our Mystery Man’s house. My daughter found a phone number for the friends and immediately called them.
Would these be the very special friends listed in the obituary and could they put us in contact with family members who might want this old photo album and its treasures?
My daughter talked to this friend for about 20 minutes, and we found out a lot of details about this lady and her husband. They did have no children, but there were many step-kids in Oklahoma from previous marriages and a great nephew in nearby Weatherford, Texas who would be very interested in getting our $2 garage sale find.
So, tomorrow I plan to scan everything, then we are gonna try to get together with these special friends and the great nephew and get this wonderful old photo album back into the hands of family, as it should be.