81-year-old man discovered he was a father from letter found in deceased wife’s file cabinet

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Michigan man discovered that he was a father after his wife died.

Tony Trapani, 81, told FOX 17 he was cleaning out a file cabinet after his wife died when he discovered a letter that the child’s mother had sent more than 50 years ago.

The father and son finally met Sunday.

The son, who is now 61, grew up in Pennsylvania.

“Just to know him now is so important to me,” Samuel Childress said. “It’s going to fill that void.”

Childress said he would ask about his father. “I always asked my mom, I said, ‘Well what does he look like?’ She said, ‘Well, go look in the mirror,’” Childress told FOX 17 .

The letter had a postage stamp dated 1959 on the front of the envelope.

“I have a little boy,” it read. “He is five years old now. What I’m trying to say Tony is he is your son. He was born November 13th, 1953.”

Childress said his mother told him that she sent the letter but assumed his father decided to ignore it.

Trapani claimed that his wife received the letter and hid it in the filing cabinet where he later found it following her death.

“He’s my full son that I’ve had my whole life, but why my wife hid that letter is beyond me,” Trapani said.

Trapani added that he and his wife had tried to conceive children but were never successful.

The father and son said they plan to have a paternity test done for verification.

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