Union County News

WWII Love Letter Finally Delivered After Westfield Moms Facebook Group Gets to Work

2432b5a532d32e8601ee_IMG_1137.JPG
Virginia and Rolf Christoffersen lived on Hazel Avenue in Westfield during the 1940s.
12e29eac331e817dc7d4_IMG_1136.JPG
Rolf Christoffersen
1fa0acc2f989cbc39893_IMG_1138.JPG
The Fahys outside of their home in Westfield
d35d513cee67e5b23f6d_letter_1.jpg
The love letter was found in a stairwell during renovations.
5ab9f49fa32a12fdda23_letter_2.jpg
The love letter was found in a stairwell during renovations.
45bdd2175eed7cafe2cb_IMG_1153.JPG
The love letter was found in a stairwell during renovations.
974e975f6d8d0563e1c4_IMG_1154.JPG
The love letter was found in a stairwell during renovations.
2432b5a532d32e8601ee_IMG_1137.JPG

WESTFIELD, NJ — It was marked “return to sender.” Melissa Fahy, a sixth grade science teacher at Roosevelt Intermediate School, and her husband were doing extensive renovations on their home on Hazel Avenue this week when they came upon a 72-year-old letter hidden inside a stairwell.

It was Melissa Fahy’s father, in town to help the couple with the work, who discovered the hidden treasure — a letter from a pregnant wife to her husband, Rolf Christoffersen, who was serving in World War II.

When her father first showed her the letter, Fahy said her initial reaction was an urge to find the rightful owners. 

Sign Up for E-News

“This belonged to someone … this isn’t ours,” said she said.  And that’s when she took to the active Westfield, NJ Moms Facebook group for advice.

The group, which boasts more than 4,000 members, quickly went to work. Member Carol Gross was the first to locate Rolf Christoffersen Jr., a professor at UC Santa Barbara, the son of Rolf and Virginia Christoffersen, who was able to read the letter to his now 96-year-old father.

“Within 45 minutes after posting a photo of the envelope, I was on the phone with a relative,” said Fahy. 

“My father and mother wrote many letters during the war,” Rolf Christoffersen Jr. said.“They were all lost when we moved to California in 1959. The one that Melissa found is the only remaining one and that is why it is so important to our family.” 

Christoffersen Sr. was able to hear the words of his late wife when his son read to him from his mother’s note. 

“He was very moved by the letter” said Christoffersen Jr. “He did not remember if he had ever had a chance to read it or not.”

Christoffersen Sr. was serving overseas with the allied Norwegian Navy during WWII while Virginia Christoffersen lived at the home with her father.  When she wrote the letter, she was expecting a child — Rolf Jr.’s sister.

Before Virginia Christoffersen became a full-time stay-at-home mom, she worked as an advertising copywriter in New York, which is when she likely typed the lunch break love letter to her husband overseas.

“I just feel happy and proud to be carrying the baby of the person I love most in the world. I really feel as if I have a part of you with me all the time,” she wrote in her letter dated May 4, 1945.

“Are you as lonesome for me as I am for you?” the letter asks. “Sweetheart I am longing for you to come home to Westfield…”

According to Christoffersen Jr., after the war his father had to work three jobs to support his family. 

“Because he served in the Norwegian Navy, he was not eligible for the GI bill or other benefits provided to USA veterans,” he explained.

This ultimately inspired a move to California in 1959 where Virginia Christoffersen felt her children could be educated in the low-cost California public colleges and universities. 

“None of us wanted to leave our home in Westfield but, in the end, we all went to college and have had successful lives in California. So I guess we learned that moms always know what’s best,” said Christoffersen Jr.

This week marks the sixth-year anniversary of Virginia Christoffersen’s passing.

A segment about the letter will air Friday night on “Inside Edition.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Cranford

Three School Buses Involved in Crash at Clark's ALJ High School

June 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ — Three buses collided in the Arthur L. Johnson High School parking lot around noon on Thursday in a chain-reaction crash. 

Students were on board at the time, according to Police Chief Pedro Matos. One driver and two students had minor injuries, Matos said.   

According to a Honeywell alert issued by the Clark Public School District, ...

2018 Cranford High School Graduation

June 22, 2018

CRANFORD - It was a beautiful day as the members of the Cranford High School Class of 2018 took their places on Memorial Field for the Graduation Ceremony on Thursday night. 

Class President Anna Kalafatis, Principal Mark Cantagallo, Superintendent Dr. Scott Rubin, Board of Education President Kurt Petschow, Jr., Salutatorian Emily Wilson, and Valedictorian Meg Cui each ...

Cranford High Senior Prom

CRANFORD - Cranford High School held its Senior Prom on Friday at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany. Check out the photos our readers submitted. 

Spring Art Show Displays Students' Creativity

CRANFORD - The Cranford High School Spring Art Show was held at the Cranford Public Library, on Tuesday. 

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., artwork from classes such as crafts, graphic design, photography, and drawing was on display for the public to promote the creative and unique projects done by students throughout the school year. 

Sports Betting Is Off And Running in New Jersey

June 14, 2018

OCEANPORT, NJ — Governor Phil Murphy officially ushered in sports betting in New Jersey when he made the initial wager at Monmouth Park  on June 14.

Governor Murphy, an avid soccer fan who has called ESPN’s “Sportscenter” his favorite show, placed the first bet  — $20 on Germany to win the World Cup. He also bet $20 on the N.J. Devils to ...

Wardlaw+Hartridge Class of 2018 Graduates at Commencement

June 24, 2018

EDISON, NJ -- Wardlaw+Hartridge School in Edison held its 135th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, June 8 under a giant tent on the back athletic fields.

The Class of 2018 marched in, led by valedictorian and class president Suraj Chandran of Edison and vice president Cathy Bi of Edison carrying the class flag. The program began with the Star-Spangled Banner and a welcome from Dr. Bob ...

Healthy U Spring Symposium Marks 10 Years of Community Impact

WESTFIELD, NJ — More than 100 Healthy U champions and partners from YMCAs and schools from all over the state gathered at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on May 18 to celebrate 10 years of community impact. Healthy U was also formally presented with the 2017 CATCH® Award for Excellence in State Health. 

CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) is the ...

Summer Water Safety Tips

Summer is a great time for parents to ensure their children are equipped with essential water safety skills. The Westfield Area YMCA offers weekly swim lessons all summer long and in Monday-Thursday weekly sessions.

Drowning is the second leading cause of death for children ages 5-14. Remember these tips to ensure the water is an enjoyable and safe place to ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...