MILWAUKEE, WI – It’s a mystery 60 years in the making, but this mystery wasn’t a “who done it,” but rather, a “who was it?” A Milwaukee pastor made a surprising discovery, and she knows it wasn’t by accident. With so little to go on, she followed faith to find the answer.
“We met on a street corner and it was his 15th birthday and I was 13,” Violet Damitz said.
A photograph, capturing a moment in time had the power to unexpectedly alter the life of someone else — someone who wasn’t pictured, who wasn’t even born with these two high school sweethearts married.
In a sanctuary much different from a traditional church, Pastor Angela Davis is as devoted as any Christian, though her following is “emerging.”
“We are growing. I would consider us small. We have seven members,” Pastor Davis said.
On special occasions, Pastor Davis fills every seat in her sanctuary. A picture of Jesus watched over every service until the day it fell off the wall.
“I found it on the floor and the glass in front had been cracked and broken,” Pastor Davis said.
The frame was undone — revealing a most perfect union.
“I said, ‘oh, there is another picture behind here!'” Pastor Davis said.
It was a black and white photo.
“I see history and two happy people and something of sentiment. That is something that somebody would want to have,” Pastor Davis said.
Pastor Davis felt destined to return the photograph to its rightful owners, not knowing who they were, where they were from or whether they were even still around. But as faith would have it, Pastor Davis found David Damitz and his wife, Violet — married when they were 21 and 19 years old, respectively — united on a dreary October day in 1954. They live in the same South Milwaukee home they’ve lived in for half-a-century.
David and Violet have grown old together.
“Yes, we were a couple of lovers. Still are,” David Damitz said.
They have all the good memories a husband and wife could ask for. Their photo album is complete, so it’s anyone’s guess how a copy of their wedding photo ended up behind a picture of Jesus sold at a Goodwill store on Milwaukee’s north side — destined for a church wall, and hung with tape that didn’t stick.
“I truly, spiritually beleive the picture fell for a reason. I would have never met them had it not fallen,” Pastor Davis said.
Pastor Davis came to FOX6 for help, and on Easter Sunday, the mystery photo hit the air. Calls came in to FOX6 News shortly thereafter.
“And then to have the two nieces recognize us from 60 years ago!” David Damitz said.
The Bible teaches that God will show you the way — guiding you, and watching over you. While it seems David and Violet’s journey took an unpredictable turn, inspiring an unlikely friendship — perhaps it was all part of a divine plan — a plan set into motion when a moment was captured in God’s eye.
In their lifetime, David and Violet Damitz raised four children in their South Milwaukee home. At 81, David is semi-retired.
Pastor Davis received her masters degree in human services just days ago from Springfield College.
All three say they’re blessed to have been brought together.
By Jonathon Gregg, WITI