TURLOCK (CBS13) — A World War II veteran recently found a family he never knew existed, more than 60 years after his ex-wife walked out on him
Harry Richmond served in the Navy during the war. He returned home and was stationed in Seattle with his wife and a 2-month-old son.
He was enjoying the simple things in life when something changed.
“I came home one night, and she was gone,” he said. “I never knew where she went.”
His wife left with his son, Ron. He never could track them down.
“After 60 years, I just forgot,” he said. “You just give up.”
But in 2005, he got the call he’d been waiting 60 years for—his ex-wife called and put him in touch with his son.
“I was flabbergasted,” he said. “I didn’t know ’cause I hadn’t seen him for 60 years. I just didn’t know what to make of it.
His wife, Joan, remembers the first meeting well.
“They just hugged and cried, and it just sent chills through me. I was just so happy they made contact,” she said.
For the next two years, father and son talked regularly, making the most of the time they had. But time was short. The son Harry Richmond hadn’t seen in 60 years passed away from an illness.
Several months later, though, Harry’s phone rang again. This time he learned his family extended far beyond Ron.
“She just said, ‘Is your name Richmond?’ and I said, ‘Yes,’ and she said, ‘Did you have a son named Ron?’ I said, ‘Yes,’ and she said, well, her father was named Ron.”
He was talking to Tracy, the granddaughter he never knew he had. And she wasn’t the only one.
The 88-year-old learned he had three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.
“They’re all great,” he said. “We just get along great. She’s the sweetest thing there is.”
Harry Richmond is looking forward to spending time with his extended family over the next several years, and that starts with a very special visit from Tracy on Thursday.
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