81-year-old man reunites with daughter - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

81-year-old man reunites with daughter

GREENVILLE, Pa. - A long life journey has brought 81-year-old Malcolm Foster to a Greenville apartment where he now lives with his companion, Pat Snyder.

It began in 1966, when he left his native England for Australia, leaving a marriage that ended badly, but also leaving behind his 10-year-old-daughter, Wendy.

"The day I left, I kissed her on the cheek and said good-bye. She didn't know that. She was asleep," Malcom says. "The Australian government would let you go out there with a son or daughter unless you had written permission from your spouse or ex-spouse for them to leave the country."

After he left, Malcom's ex-wife kept him from having any communication with their daughter.

Although he led a fulfilling life as an electrician working for the American Space Agency in Australia, he thought about Wendy. He eventually came to the states to Oil City, Pennsylvania where he married his second wife.

After her passing, Malcom and Pat discovered eachother online and he moved to Greenville.

His daughter had been the one piece of his life that was missing until 2008 when relatives tracked her down in England while researching the Foster family tree.

"The fact that her father was still alive was amazing because she hadn't been in touch with her own mother for 13 years," Malcom says.

From that point on, they exchanged letters and emails then the first phone call and even a conversation one Easter over Skype.

Neither Malcom, nor his daughter have had the funds to make a trip overseas to see each other until Pat discovered something online in December.

"It said 'Wish of a Lifetime for senior citizens' and there was an application you could fill out," she explains.

That wish of a lifetime is about to come true April 6th when the couple leaves for Okehampton, England.

Not only will Foster reunite with his 57-year-old daughter, but he will meet her husband, Mike, his grandson, Damian and two other grand children along with five great-grandchildren.

All of them already call him "grandad."

For Wendy, reconnecting with her father has filled a void.

Malcom says, "I wrote to her one day, she's a paralegal, and I said, 'Well, I'm proud of you.' And she said, 'That made me gulp. That's the first time anyone has said that to me.'"

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