Antique store find leads to search for sailor

MCGREGOR, Minn. - A woman shopping at an antique store in McGregor found a stack of letters from a U.S. Navy sailor to his grandparents on Friday.

The 41 letters were written by Randolph Alexander Smith during his service to his country from 1966 to 1969. The letters indicate that Randolph would be 66-years-old today.

"I would love to see these letters returned to him," said Abby Jimenez, who owns Nadia Cakes in Maple Grove. "I have no doubt that they ended up in that antique store as an oversight, possibly when an elderly family member passed away and their property went to auction."

Jimenez said she loves old journals and photos, so when she spotted the letters on a shelf, she was instantly interested in them.

She bought the letters for $1, and when she started reading them, she quickly thought to herself, "Who was he? What happened to him?"

"Forty-one intimate letters really makes you feel invested in a person's life," she said.

In his first letter, Smith wrote home from training in San Diego, "Well, here I am away from home for my first time ever. Now, though, I am growing up, 18, and supposed to accept some responsibilities."

The next 40 letters were sent over a three-year span all the way up until he came home from duty on the USS Yosemite. He wrote about the weather, seeing Europe and Baltimore Colts and Minnesota Twins games but most of all he frequently thanked his grandparents for their undying support while was at sea. According to his letters, they wrote to him every week for three years and their letters were often the only mail he would receive.

After researching online, Jimenez said she believes that Smith is still alive and is living in Minnesota.

Other information that could help identify Smith:

  • Mother is Eileen Johnson
  • He was born Aug. 12, 1948 in Hennepin County. He is 66-years-old
  • He may have married a woman named Suzanne after returning home

Anyone with information about Randolph Alexander Smith, should send us a message on the KARE 11 Facebook page.

UPDATE: Two different people have helped locate Randy Smith, who lives in Minneapolis.


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