15 May 2013

Thanking a hero after 57 years!

It's the unexpected joys that make me love being a genealogist. Family is the most important thing we have. I had a favorite grandmother growing up and we lived about 700 miles apart most of my life. She and I would cry with joy whenever we got to see each other and cry from heartbreak whenever we parted. She just simply loved me. Life was simple and the little things made me happy.

Today I often wonder who was her favorite relative - a grand parent, and uncle, a cousin? I so wish I had asked her that simple question while she was still alive. That's why I get so exciting when I have the chance to help someone else discover someone in their life or the life of someone in theirs.

About two weeks ago one of my friends, Kathy Peavey Gritton, contacted me and asked if I could help her find someone from her late father's life. Her father had a serious accident in 1955 and she so wanted to locate the man who saved his life, if he was still alive. Kathy had a worn out newspaper article that didn't have a date nor did it identify the newspaper. The man's name was Richard Falkner. So we spend the next several hours piecing together her father's life including the accident that cost him both of his legs. And, we discovered that the hero in all of this was still alive and living just about 30 miles away. His name had been misspelled in the original article which made it a little more difficult to locate him.

Kathy decided she would contact Mr. Falkner the next day, however, she also wanted to publicly acknowledge his heroism so I suggested a local newspaper columnist, Lee Benson, who loves to share human interest stories. Kathy contacted them both the next day. They all met together a couple of days later... AND...here's the rest of the story...
*Hero thanked 55 years after Logan sawmill tragedy
*After 57 years, a family thanks its hero

Like I said...it's the unexpected joys in life! Thanks Kathy, for letting me play a part in your joy!

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