World War II photos found in West Seattle attic make their way to rightful owner

SEATTLE-- Stephanie DeVoid never expected this day to come, meeting the man who grew up in her West Seattle home.

Last week, DeVoid shared her discovery on Q13 News, hoping to find the rightful owner of two cigar boxes full of pictures belonging to World War II veteran George Lee Hoke.

“It’s been amazing how there was a chance that the right person might get these photographs and that it might be special, and it was so spot on,” said DeVoid.

Turned out those pictures belonged to a man Roland “Rollie” Hoke’s father, who he had been trying to learn more about his whole life.

“We did have pictures before but they were all destroyed, and I never knew anything about him,” said Hoke, who never knew these pictures of his dad existed.

He said Hoke’s mom, Detta, had remarried and started a new life with her young son, destroying any evidence of her previous one except these pictures.

Hoke said someone saw the Q13 News story and contacted his son, Chris, which led to the reunion Thursday.

“I think she was saving them; I think she was saving them for me,” said Hoke, getting choked up.

Looking through the pictures, Rollie says he has more questions about his dad than ever, but he has new answers too.

“I’m almost in tears,” said Hoke. “I’m so happy to have this because it’s a part I don’t know anything about. It’s my dad.”

While DeVoid said she’ll miss having the pictures, she’s at peace knowing they finally made their way home.

“I really liked the pictures and looking at them, but they’re not mine and they’re where they belong,” said DeVoid.

Hoke said he will be sharing these pictures with his son and daughter who also didn’t know their grandfather.

He plans to make a scrapbook with the pictures and documents he’s gotten back.