FAIRFIELD — Lisa Gnandt has an interesting specialty. The Fairfield transfer station manager has found lost wedding rings in a movie theater, and at the station’s yard.
“If anyone needs help finding a wedding ring, let me know,” she said.
But her most recent find bordered on the miraculous, locating a ring nearly two hours after it fell onto the station’s tipping floor from the hand of a man who has worn it for 48 years.
“I said a prayer to Saint Anthony and that’s why we found the ring,” Lisa Gnandt said. “He’s the one who helps you find things.”
The story came to light after First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick included the story in her weekly newsletter, saying Gnandt “went above and beyond” for local residents.
“Lisa jumped into action raking through the trash and found the 40-year-old wedding band,” Kupchick said. “I wanted to share this heartwarming story and commendable action by a Fairfield Town employee. Well done Lisa.”
Gnandt, the manager of the town’s transfer station, said the story began when a couple she had seen come to the station a handful of times stopped by on Nov. 30.
“They’d come in earlier and threw their garbage out,” she said. “They came back about an hour and a half later saying that the husband had lost the ring.”
Gnandt decided to help the couple, and walked with them to the area where they had been earlier that day. It was almost time to close for the day, and she wanted to make sure they found it.
“I was up on the tipping floor. I was poking through the trash with the husband,” she said.
The two had been looking for about 20 minutes, and Gnandt said the man’s wife was growing distraught, saying he had worn the ring for 48 years.
“It was really cute, because he’s reassuring her that they still have each other, and we were closing, and we had been up there for a while,” she said.
The situation looked bleak, and Gnandt said she asked for the couple’s name and number so she could contact them if it turned up.
But as the dejected couple started to walk back to their car, she said, she pushed a bunch of leaves out of the way with a stick and heard a metal clinking sound.
“The ring was right at her feet.,” she said. “So we picked it up and we all started crying. We were so happy. It was an absolutely beautiful old, worn ring. They were just ecstatic.”
Gnandt said she never did get the couple’s contact information, and has not seen them at the transfer station since. But she would love to hear from them. She said it is the type of feel-good story that people need right now.
“I thought it was very sweet that Brenda has acknowledged it,” she said. “I didn’t make a big deal about it within the town because it was no big deal. What they did for me was more important than what I did for them. Just to see the love between the two of them — it made my Christmas.”