Best 89th birthday gift? Garden Spot woman reunited with wedding ring lost 64 years ago [photos, video] | Local News


Sometimes, if you wait long enough, sad stories have a happy ending years later.

For Garden Spot Village resident Janet Burge, it happened on her 89th birthday.

After her wedding ring disappeared 64 years ago, it was returned at a special birthday celebration held Monday afternoon at Garden Spot in New Holland.

“I never expected to see it again,” the octogenarian said with a big smile. Dr. Les Burge, 91, was as surprised as his wife.

The surprise party was planned by their elder son, David, 66, who lives in Batavia, Iowa.

David, while responsible for the wedding band’s return, also was responsible for the wedding band’s disappearance. During the party, he humorously shared the decades-old story about the missing ring.

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As a curious toddler, 2-year-old David took the engagement diamond and wedding ring from his mother’s nightstand and put them down the hallway heater grate. Janet, who was pregnant at the time, had not been wearing the rings as they did not fit her finger.

“I may have been only 2 years old, but (I) remember vividly putting those rings down the grate,” said David with a chuckle.

At age 2, David Burge put his mother’s wedding ring down the hallway heater vent. 64 years later, it was found…

His father remembers asking him where the rings were. David, who didn’t yet talk, pointed to the grate.

“After many attempts, I managed to retrieve the diamond, but not the wedding ring,” said Les.

Since the ring seemed lost forever, the couple purchased a new one.

The family moved from that home in Wilmington, Delaware, several years later. As an adult, David often recalled stories about his losing the ring and tried several times to contact the home’s owner, with no success.

Six months ago, however, he touched base with the home’s newest owner.

Shiva Rai, a native of Nepal, lived in the home and gave permission for David to hire a heating company to search for the ring. But the company couldn’t find it.

Rai decided to try his luck a couple weeks ago. He used a vacuum cleaner and heard a clink.

Wedding ring returned to Garden Spot resident 64 years after it was lost [photos]

“I found a small metal ring covered in dirt, but I knew it mattered to someone,” he said.

The 27-year-old found an inscription inside: June 11, 1955 — the Burges’ wedding date — with their initials.

Rai attended the party and gave the ring to David. It was the first time the 66-year-old had seen the ring since he was a toddler. Giving the ring to his mother, he apologized for putting it down the heater grate.

“My mother wore the ring for three years, and it was lost for 64 years,” said David.