Escondido family hope to make WWII veteran’s dream come true


ESCONDIDO, Calif. (KGTV) – An Escondido family is on a mission to make the dreams of a WWII veteran and recent COVID-19 survivor come true.

John Beiszer, 92, a veteran of World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War, served in the Navy as a flight engineer for more than two decades. It was also stationed for two winters in Antarctica.

While on R&R in New Zealand, he and other sailors bought a 1926 Chevy Touring Sedan in 1960. As they left, the men pulled straws to see who would get the car.

“Dad was the lucky guy who pulled the straw and was able to keep the car,” Beiszer’s daughter Karen Scott said.

In 1962, Beizer married his beloved Marilyn, originally from New Zealand, in his country.

“They jumped in the car and had their honeymoon. I would always hear the stories about cooking sausages on the engine while they were driving. The car has always meant the world to dad. He’s very nostalgic and sentimental, ”Scott said.

Beiszer, who now lives in Escondido, always dreamed of shipping him to the United States, but it was logistically tricky and expensive, so he stayed in New Zealand with his family and friends.

Then, in August, Beiszer – diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma a few years ago – was hospitalized with COVID pneumonia. The doctors were not optimistic. It was then that Beiszer’s son, on a video call, spoke to an inconsistent Beiszer about plans to restore his beloved car.

“Hoping to motivate him to fight. My father started to move. My brother thinks my dad really heard this and got excited about it. It was just about the turning point for him, ”Scott said.

To everyone’s surprise, Beiszer recovered after two weeks in hospital.

Relatives told Beiszer they were taking him and his wife to New Zealand to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary.

What they didn’t tell him was their plans to restore the car, and he doesn’t recall being told about it while in intensive care. Scott hopes to surprise him with a ride in the restored car on his anniversary trip.

“Dad is such an inspiration to me,” said an emotional Scott. “I just want to see him have a really happy time. I think it would be incredibly special.

A Gofundme campaign was launched to help raise funds for the anniversary trip and the restoration of the car.


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