A 69-year holiday card exchange tradition ends
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A Christmas card ex-changed for the past 69 years between two World War II Army Air Corps buddies has spread its cheer for the last time.
"I lost a friend and a tradition," Stewart Owens, 87, of Liberty said of the death of Joe Konrad of New London, Conn.
The card had been sent back and forth between the two friends since 1943 when they were roommates at Middle Georgia College, where the U.S. Army had sent the two Pittsburgh natives for instruction.
Every year at Christmastime, the men would talk on the telephone about their present lives and old times in the military.
When Mr. Owens did not hear from Mr. Konrad last month, he repeatedly tried calling him and decided to hold onto the card until he reached him.
When Mr. Owens' son-in-law, Bruce Piker of Liberty, conducted an Internet search for Mr. Konrad, he discovered his obituary from May 2012, two months following the death of Mr. Konrad's wife.
Mr. Owens said he will preserve the card in plastic but carry the memories it evokes for the rest of his life.
"We were friends for all those years, due mostly to the card connection," he said. "You don't have friendships like that anymore."
First Published January 10, 2013 5:12 am