Family heirloom from WWII accidently donated, loved ones search to buy it back


BOONVILLE, Ind (WEHT)– A Warrick County family is searching for a family keepsake. The family has kept the pink and blue vase since 1942 until it was accidentally taken to Goodwill and sold. The vase was purchased by their loved one, Clarence Addington, right before he was sent to Italy during World War II.

“He’d tell us stories about the things that he had done and this was just one of those pieces that we found sentimental,” said Chris Hadley, Clarence Addington’s grandson. Hadley said the vase his grandfather bought might not have much monetary value, but to his family, it’s priceless especially since Haley’s grandfather passed away three years ago. “It was a decorative vase that he brought home from Deming, New Mexico when he was stationed out there for training with the bombers and fighter pilots before World War II.”

Addington bought the decorative piece in 1942. It’s been in the family ever since until lately when it was accidentally put in a box and donated to the Goodwill in Boonville.

At our Boonville location alone, we receive 33-35 donations per day with each donation averaging about 40 lbs. Each individual item is then sold at that specific location or distributed to one of our other 14 retail locations. This unfortunately makes items very difficult to track down in situations like this and once an item is sold, it is out of our hands. We hope the family is able to locate the individual who purchased this precious family heirloom, and we would love to share this story to help spread the word.

Morgan McCray, Director of Mission Advancement & Community Relations at Evansville Goodwill.

“I think my mom found out and the very next day, within a day or two anyways, went to the Goodwill and asked if they still had it and it had already been sold,” Hadley explained his family is asking to buy the vase back and they are willing to give the new owner more than they paid. It’s a memento of Addington’s legacy.

“That’s why we keep these things close and everyday I talk about him to somebody. I tell a story about him or I look at his picture and tell my kids about him and he’s still with us so,” said Hadley.

Hadley says between his family’s poppy flowers blossomed from seeds Addington brought back while stationed in Italy to the memories his tight knit family has shared, his grandfather’s memory will live on.

“The year before he died I’ve got a video of him on the living room floor on his hands and knees at 97 playing monster trucks with my son. There’s another picture I’ve got he’s outside drawing chalk around my son,” Hadley said since he was very close to his grandfather, these are the moments he will hold on to forever.

Even though they still have some of Addington’s belongings and pictures, getting his decorative keepsake back would mean the world to his family.

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