A Washington woman given a stack of World War II-era letters that a friend bought at auction was so moved by the correspondences that she tracked down the family of the author, reports KGW.com in Portland, Ore.
The woman, Shawn Story, who lives near the Oregon border in La Center, received the letters, written by Sgt. Delbert Steele to his mother, as a birthday gift.
"She brought me this box of musty old letters here where I work and I just delved into them and started reading them when I got home," Story told KGW. "I just got that feeling these don’t belong in my hands."
Story started searching online for clues. She quickly learned that Steele died in 1979 but that his son lived just a short distance away.
Sgt. Delbert Steele’s son, Gary, is 55 years old, the same age at which his father died from heart disease. Gary was in his early twenties when the man who wrote the letters now before him passed away.
"My dad and I barely scratched the surface," he said. "All those questions I would have asked him, I feel that they're going to be answered in here."
Gary Steele told the station that he's been busy reading about his father's experiences in the Army as well as learning about some of the relationships his father had before he met Gary's mother. He was around 21 years old at the time his father died.
"Who could ask for a better Father’s Day than this? There’s no way," Steele said to KGW.com.
- Gary Steele