MT. MORRIS (WJRT) (08/10/19) - A foster father's last wish.
His family is honoring his dream of taking a classic car to Back to the Bricks.
On Father's Day in 2016, Mae Waldron surprised her husband, Frederick with a special item on his bucket list: A 1957 Studebaker, the same year she was born.
Owning a '57 classic wasn't all he wanted though.
"He was always wanting to enter it in Back to the Bricks. He loved going to the car shows, especially Back to the Bricks. He's from Flint originally, and he long-time always went to Back to the Bricks," Waldron said.
After Waldron bought the car, her husband worked on it a little bit at a time to get it ready for display.
On February 11, 2019, tragedy ended that dream.
"He got into the passenger seat. We were at the Walmart on Corunna Road, and I started heading up 75, and on Pierson Road, he had a massive heart attack and was gone. I knew he was gone immediately, and I said to him, 'You weren't supposed to do this to me. You weren't supposed to leave me alone with all the kids,'" Waldron said.
Creating loving home for children without one was a passion for the couple. They have had over 400 foster kids and adopted 25.
"If it wasn't for him, I don't know where I'd be today. I was adopted 21 years ago by him and my mom, and I can't say that I would ever ask for a different future or a different past," Benjamin Waldron said.
"Most children don't get to choose their parents. I got to choose my parents, and they got to choose me. That's something that never happens. I wouldn't ask for different parents in my entire life," Samantha Leverenz said.
The entire family thought there was no better way to honor their father than bringing his car to Back to the Bricks, but they wanted him along for the ride.
"I felt that he couldn't be here in person alive, but we could do the next best thing. We brought his cremains with us and put them in the front seat of the car, so that he's with us. He's here, and I'm sure that he's enjoying every minute of this," Waldron said.
His family says this is the least they could do for someone who's lived all of his days for others.
"I'd either be in residential or a boys home. I wouldn't want to end up in that place because then I wouldn't be able to go to college to get a mechanics degree," Charlie Waldron said.
Saturday, August 10th was the final Tune Up Party of the week.
To see Frederick Waldron's 1957 Studebaker at Back to the Bricks, head to downtown Flint on Saturday, August 17th.