Family reunited with the wallet father lost in De Beque in 1980 | VailDaily.com

Family reunited with the wallet father lost in De Beque in 1980

Ryan Summerlin
rsummerlin@postindependent.com

A wallet belonging to a Grand Junction man, amazingly found after being lost 37 years ago, was quickly reunited with the man's family following a story Tuesday in the Post Independent.

Charles W. Luebbert, born March 4, 1927, died in 2008, but he is survived by family members who were shocked to learn that the long-lost billfold had been recovered.

His son, Jeff Luebbert, even remembered the day his dad lost the wallet. He told the Post Independent that he was riding off road near De Beque with his father in a new 1980 Jeep when his dad realized he had lost his wallet.

Charles Luebbert was an avid rock hound, said his daughter, Linda Drake, who lives in Glenwood Springs. "He was always building something in his back yard with the rocks and stuff he found in the hills."

Jeff Luebbert said the pair spent several hours backtracking to try to find the wallet. He went back to a gas station, hoping he'd left it there, but with no luck, said Drake.

A few days later, Luebbert and his wife went back to drive around the area, but they still couldn't find the wallet.

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Wondering how the its contents could have stayed so well-preserved in the open, Drake speculated that it must be the dry climate that kept it from mildewing and melting away.

On Tuesday, Drake met with Roger Wade, who recently found the wallet with his son on a hunting trip. Luebbert's birthday is coming up on Saturday, and Drake said she plans to celebrate in style. Wade's son — who found the wallet — coincidentally has the same birthday at Luebbert.

In a jewelry box upstairs at her house, Drake still kept an old Public Service Co. of Colorado ID of her father's, which she took along when she met Wade, to prove that she was Luebbert's daughter.

This also isn't the first time Luebbert lost an important item to later have it amazingly returned. Drake recalled a trip to Hawaii when her father lost his glasses while snorkeling with her husband. The next day her husband suggested that they go diving in the same spot to see if they could find them, though it was obviously a long shot, she said.

With all that movement of the ocean, he still found his glasses on that dive. "He's always had this magical…" Drake let her sentence trail off. "I just know he's up there cracking up over this."

Her mother started sobbing tears of joy when her daughter told her the wallet had been found. "They were connected at the hip, and after she lost him, it has been a hard road for her. She talks to him all the time," Drake said of her mother.

"She feels like it's another way of Dad saying, 'Hi, I'm still keeping an eye on you.'"

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