70-year-old love letter from Air Force veteran found in Grand Rapids man's toolbox

long lost love letter
Posted at 10:06 PM, Feb 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-17 14:10:41-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A love letter standing the test of time was found in a Grand Rapids man’s toolbox. He shared with FOX 17 the story behind the notes written more than half a century ago.

“It's almost like a true love story. People just don't write things like that nowadays; it's almost like poetry,” said Rick Trojanowski.

Back in 2017 he bought a toolbox at a farm auction. But what he found inside a couple of years later was like a scene out of a movie.

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There was a love letter written 70 years ago addressed to Mary Lee Cribbs here in Grand Rapids, from Cpl. Irvin G. Fleming. It was sent from San Francisco, California.

The letter is a tale of two hearts separated by distance, as Corporal Fleming served in the Air Force.

In it, he revealed he hadn’t heard from Mary in five months — after the two had a disagreement. He apologized profusely and expressed his unyielding love to her, writing in part:

“Mary, I need you so very much … and I know that I'll always love you.”

Corporal Fleming shared how slow his time in the Army was going by without hearing from Mary, adding when he returned home in seven months, it would be the happiest day of his life.

He wrapped up the letter asking Mary something he’s asked before — and apparently something she previously agreed to — to marry him once he returned home, telling Mary he loves her with everything he’s got.

“I did try to do a little research on Facebook to try to locate some of the people involved with it,” said Trojanowski.

Unfortunately, he hasn’t had any luck, but he is hoping this story will help get this long-lost love letter into the right hands.

“I really don't have any use for it and if we can find the people it belongs to, the kids, I think it'd be really neat for them,” said Trojanowski.

**Update: FOX 17 was able to connect with a relative of Mary Lee Cribbs just two days after sharing this story. We've linked the updated story below.

Mystery solved: FOX 17 connects with family of 70-year-old love letter recipient

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