ELKHART — For years, Donald Curtis could only imagine what his father was doing for Father’s Day.
Last year, however, he got to spend the holiday with his father, Larry, for the first time in more than 50 years.
Donald’s parents divorced when he was a young boy, and he and his father lost touch from there. Larry, now 81, said over the years that he wanted to reconnect with his son, but could never quite catch him.
Donald, 59, was in the military for eight years and was in and out of Elkhart after that.
But several years ago, Donald began kicking around the idea of finding his father and reintroducing himself.
“I was just getting old and wanted to meet him before he was gone,” Donald said.
So last year, he got online and began looking for traces of Larry or any family. It only took him a couple days to find and contact Larry’s daughter and Donald’s half-sister, Laura Anglemyer, and asked if Larry might be interested in sitting down with his son. Donald was admittedly a bit apprehensive about putting the offer to Larry.
“Get him out here!” was his father’s response, assuaging any nerves Donald may have had.
“I was very happy to get to meet him,” Donald said. Larry, who had wondered for years what his son was like, was also very excited and even teared up a bit upon meeting him again.
Were there awkward moments during their first meeting in more than a half a century? Absolutely not, according to Larry. “We had too much to talk about,” he said.
According to family, from the moment the two got together, it seemed as if they had never been separated at all. As soon as they began chatting, the two men found they shared many interests, including classic cars and attending car shows.
“It’s a wonder they didn’t bump into each other (at a car show),” Larry’s wife, Sharon, added with a laugh.
“It took too long to get back together,” Larry lamented. Since the day they first reconnected, though, father and son have simply enjoyed having the other as part of their life again.