An 89-year-old St. Louis woman was reunited with a wallet she had been missing since the mid-1940s this week after an unlikely discovery.
A plumber found her wallet along with more than a dozen others in the wall of a girls’ bathroom as the old Centralia High School building in Centralia, Ill., was being converted into a church.
“We’ve been working on this building for six months,” City Hope Church lead pastor Seth Baltzell told CNN. “I’ve been kind of waiting for that really cool thing that nobody’s seen in at least 75 or 100 years to pop out.”
While all the cash was long gone, photos and other documents remained in the wallets.
Baltzell listed the names of several of the women in a Facebook post, which was shared more than 3,000 times, in hopes of returning them.
Betty Sissom was one of those women.
A St. Louis TV station recognized her name and asked Baltzell if he could deliver the wallet to her.
She graduated from Centralia High School in 1947 and now lives near St. Louis. She was shocked to see the wallet again.
“I can’t imagine somebody stole all those wallets and put them behind the toilet in a space I didn’t even know was there,” Sissom told CNN.
The wallet had pictures of classmates and one of her brother who was fighting in World War II at the time and has since died.
“I was just so glad to get that, because I don’t have a picture of him,” Sissom said.
She also found her Social Security card, which has been missing for more than 70 years.