HANNIBAL, Mo. — A heartfelt gift of a unique ring blossomed into generations of memories beginning in 1960, but a recent mishap led to the loss of the cherished heirloom and a family’s search to find it.
Back in 1960, Charmaine Pritchett saw a one-of-a kind ring featuring an angel in a walking cameo design as she strolled by shops in Sarasota, Fla. with her second husband, Sutro. He gave her the ring as a gift on the same year their daughter, Charmaine Holman, was born. Seven years later, Charmaine Pritchett passed away at the age of 37, and her husband died the following year.
Gauch’s great-grandparents held onto the ring for Holman as she was raised by Gauch’s mother and father. When she was old enough to have the ring, Holman cherished it from the first day.
“I’m 52, she’s only eight years older than I am, and I don’t ever remember a time when she’s ever had that ring off of her finger,” Gauch said. “It’s a family heirloom — I wore it when I got married, my baby sister has had the pleasure of wearing it when she comes in from Hawaii, my twin sister also wore it when she got married. The ring is so important to all of us, it’s like the loss of a family member at this point.”
Gauch has been searching for a similar ring for her baby sister for a year, but she has been unable to find anything like it.
Holman was with her niece, Patti Gauch, the evening they were enjoying time together at Tipsy Bricks Bar. Unfortunately, Holman slipped on the wet stairs outside, which resulted in a small brain bleed and a life flight to Columbia for treatment. She is now back home resting and gradually recuperating, Gauch said, but the ring that never left her finger was lost.
Gauch stressed the situation was not anyone’s fault, and the staff at Tipsy Bricks is helping with the search by posting flyers depicting the missing ring. Her sister is offering a $500 reward for the ring’s return.
The ring deeply reminds Gauch of her late grandmother.
“She was a beautiful, beautiful woman, she was just as beautiful as the ring is,” Gauch said, noting her dark hair and pure skin remind her of the Black Dahlia. “The ring just resembles her spirit, I think.”
Anyone who has information about the ring can contact Gauch at 573-406-2926 or on her Facebook page. She said people can contact Tipsy Bricks Bar at 116 North St.