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From left: Robert Klingbeil; his wife, Kelly, and son, Noah; and Tony Thomas

Amro Employee Finds Long-Lost Father Within Music Industry

For six years, Robert Klingbeil has worked in piano and organ sales at Amro Music in Memphis, Tenn. Adopted as a child, he reconnected with his biological mother seven years ago. But when his wife became pregnant last fall with their first child, Klingbeil wanted to know more about his biological father, if only for essential medical history. Unfortunately, his mother only had a common name.

It wasn’t a high-tech database that gave Klingbeil the clue he needed to solve the mystery. It was a memory from his mother’s sister, a piano retail salesperson. “Even if he wasn’t in the business anymore, I knew I could trace him,” Klingbeil said.

Amro Chairman Chip Averwater knew of Klingbeil’s search. So, when Klingbeil asked him about a man named Tony Thomas, Averwater’s face lit up. He’d known Thomas, owner of Black Hills Piano Gallery in Rapid City, S.D., and Thomas Events Solutions, for years. Klingbeil tracked down Thomas’ phone number and contacted him on Jan. 4, just days after Thomas’ own father passed away. He’d never been told he had a son.

“I don’t know if I could put it into words,” Thomas said. “I had just lost my father and gained a son, a daughter-in-law and a grandson within about a three-day period.”

A paternity test confirmed a 99-percent match. In July, Thomas visited Memphis to meet his new grandson, Noah Taylor.