A lost Michigan liquor identification card found by a Ringgold, Georgia family has been returned to Hamilton County relatives Friday.After NewsChannel9 aired the story
, calls flooded our newsroom with people wanting to help find the woman in the photo, Mary Frances Lillard.The 57-year-old photo caught many eyes, including Lillard's relatives living in Hamilton County.
"They did live in Kalamazoo. Her and Charles traveled a lot. They'd go work at a bakery for a year and travel," said Marty Rogers, Lillard's son.
Justin and Anne Armstrong, of Ringgold, found the lost 57-year-old Michigan liquor card in a pickup truck a few weeks ago, and it started a quest to help find out what happened to her.
"I'm happy that he's getting it back. There's more to the story you know," said Justin Armstrong, who restores older model cars.
Then the Lillard family reached out to the Armstrong family, and it led the two families to connect over what was once lost.
"I'm just thankful Justin and his wife didn't just throw it away, you know, forget about it," said Rogers.
After the original broadcast, the story went viral. Dozens of people responded on Facebook and Twitter, and reached out to NewsChannel9's Briona Arradondo by email and phone.
"It's amazing the responses from people, and it's really a nice tribute to her," said Rogers.
Rogers said his mother lived life to its fullest and never letting anything get her down.
"She was always in a good mood, and she loved everybody and everybody loved her," said Rogers.
Lillard passed away in 2006 and is buried at Hamilton Memorial Gardens.
"Mary, she seems like a really cool person. So, we wish that we could have met her, but we're happy to see that the family's getting reconnected," said Anne Armstrong.
That's exactly how the situation evolved. The experience put Marty in touch with lost relatives, including his stepfather's brother.
"In fact, I've saved his bible all these years, and birth certificate, where him and my mom had a little baby, and I've saved that stuff. I'm going to give it to them," said Rogers.
Rogers said the whole experience from the online interest to other's help gives him faith in how genuine people can be. As for the Ringgold couple, they said they will likely discover more interesting items from the older cars they restore. By Briona Arradondo
to see our original story)