by: Ken Lemon Updated:
GASTON COUNTY, N.C. - UPDATE at 6 p.m. Monday: The family says the missing 81-year-old man was found Monday night in North Myrtle Beach.
Sally Norman is heartbroken over the disappearance of her husband, Gene Norman.
She and her family are pleading for help finding him.
"It means everything to us. He's all we have," she said, crying.
Gene Norman is an 81-year-old cancer survivor who suffers from dementia.
His wife said Sunday morning he seemed to be doing well and he wanted to go to church. She was too sick to go with him.
"God is the most important thing in his life," she said.
He left his home north of Dallas and drove 11 miles to New Bethel Independent Missionary Baptist church near McAdenville.
Members said he seemed to be fine. They said he quickly left after the service and no one has seen him since.
"We are going to find him," said son Ricky Norman.
About 100 determined family and friends have joined in to search for him. They believe he is trying to get home, but can't remember how.
Groups of loved ones are searching the roads from Huntersville to Clover looking for a white 1996 Marquis. Some are making calls to spread the word.
All are instructed to remind Gene Norman of his wife who has stood by him for 18 years.
"Say Sally is looking for him and you will get his attention because Sally is his hero," Ricky Norman said.
Kevin Southers and his son spent the morning searching.
"It's got to be a hopeless feeling not to know," Southers said.
They ask anyone who has seen Gene Norman to call Gaston County police at 704-866-3320.