Real Name: Gary Douglas Bickford
Case: Lost Brother
Location: New York
Date: June 1939
Details: Gary Bickford is the long-lost brother of Gwen Sanders of Corinth, New York. He was born on June 6, 1935 to Katherine Bickford and Andrew Rossmann, an unmarried couple who had an age difference of twenty years. When Gary was just an infant, Andrew left Katherine to raise Gary and Gwen by herself. Katherine worked as a waitress to support her children. The Winch family, who had known Katherine since childhood, helped her raise the children. When Katherine had Gary baptized, she told Florence Winch that she had to move to another city to work for her uncle, but she could not bring Gary and Gwen with her. The Winch family agreed to take care of Gary; Gwen went to live with Katherine's parents.
Three years passed, but Katherine visited Gary as much as possible. Unfortunately, Katherine's financial situation was not improving, and in 1939, Child Welfare Services contacted her. She believed that the papers they gave her would allow Florence to keep Gary, but in reality, the papers allowed Gary to be put up for adoption. Florence tried to adopt Gary, but she was not allowed since she was unmarried. Florence's parents tried to adopt Gary, but they were too old to be adoptive parents, according to the adoption agency.
In early spring of 1939, a county welfare worker informed the Winchs that Gary would be taken away for adoption. One morning, the welfare worker showed up and took Gary away from the Winch family. Gary was taken to New York and was never seen again. Katherine and Gwen were eventually reunited, but Katherine died in 1984 without ever seeing her son again. Gwen and Florence are now hoping to reunite with Gary. They want him to know how much Katherine loved him and wanted to be with him.
Gary has brown hair and brown eyes. On his birth certificate, his first name may have been spelled "Garry" and his last name may have been listed as "Rossman".
Extra Notes: This segment was featured as part of the April 3, 1991 episode.
Results: Unresolved. In 2000, Gwen was able to get in contact with one of Gary's daughters. She learned that he was adopted in 1941 and renamed Robert Ernest Lundstrom. He married and had three children: Kristina, Bruce, and Debbie.
However, surprisingly, Robert vanished sometime in 1964 from Huntington, New York and has never been found. After talking with his old classmates, his daughter Kristina believes that he changed his last name to Keegan. She also suspects that he may not want to be found. In 2001, Gwen was reunited with Gary's children. Sadly, a few years later, Debbie passed away. Gwen and his two surviving children are now searching together for what happened to Gary/Robert.
Florence Winch LaValley passed away in 1994.
- Long-lost brother never left her heart
- Looking for - Robert Ernest Lundstrom AKA Gary Bickford
- Ancestry discussion post by Gwen Sanders
- Reddit Discussion of Gary Bickford
- Florence Winch on Find a Grave