Through two wars and more than 60 years of marriage, John Zoril carried the same photo of his wife, Mary.
But the 83-year-old University Place man hasn’t seen the photo since his wallet was stolen Jan. 25.
Mary gave him the photo in 1951, when he left to join the military and eventually fight in the Korean War.
“I’ve carried that picture all these years,” he said Monday. “Through Korea. I carried it through Vietnam. She’s been with me in my back pocket, until my wallet was lifted.”
After shopping at the Walgreens store at Cirque Drive West and Bridgeport Way West in University Place, Zoril accidentally left the wallet on the counter just before 3 p.m.
A man was seen picking up the wallet, putting it in his pocket and leaving the store with Zoril’s credit card, identification and the photo of Mary.
“You can replace the money,” he said. “It was the only picture I ever carried in my wallet.”
The couple met at a football game in their hometown of Pekin, Illinois, and married in 1953 when Zoril returned from serving in Korea. They think Mary is about 18 in the photo.
“She’s more beautiful today than she was then,” Zoril said.
The couple doesn’t have any copies of the photo that Zoril carried for so many years.
“It was the first picture I ever had of her,” he said.