Prayer book returned to veteran's widow - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Prayer book returned to veteran's widow

We recently brought you the story of an Albertville city councilman's quest to find a World War II vet whose lost army prayer book was discovered in Pennsylvania.

That prayer book made it back to the owner's family more than 65 years after the war.

It was purchased at a yard sale in Pennsylvania nearly 20 years ago, and officials at a Pennsylvania state senator's office reached out to the Albertville city councilman to help find its rightful owner.

Well, he passed away more than three years ago, but his widow was more than happy to receive it.

Albertville city councilman Chuck Ellis's two month quest to find J.W. Thompson or his relatives ended Thursday morning.  For when Lorene Thompson opened the package and looked at the handwriting, she knew it was her late husband, J.W. Thompson's.

"I'm thinking it's too good to be true, but I'm so proud," said Mrs. Thompson.

It's believed J.W. Thompson was given the prayer book when he entered the service in WWII, but how he lost it no one knows.

"I think it's wonderful.  It's just more than I can believe.  It's really real," said Mrs. Thompson.

But it was the office of a Pennsylvania state representative that reached out to the city councilman in late July to help get the prayer book back to the man who helped liberate France.

"He was a wonderful person.  He loved people and he loved the church.  That came first in his life," Mrs. Thompson said.

Ellis's attempt to find Thompson, or "J" as he was known, wasn't successful, but the prayer book that was lost for so long won't get lost again.

"And I'll always keep the Bible, and when I meet the Lord the boys will have the Bible," said Mrs. Thompson.

Ellis said he's being told by officials in that Pennsylvania office they hope to come visit Mrs. Thompson in the next few months.


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