Couple Married for 62 Years is Reunited with Lost Wedding Ring Found by Their Metal Detecting Hospice Chaplain

  • from Menomonee Falls (Wisconsin, United States)

2020 was a rough year, but Judith and Dewey Sherman, married for over half a century, took comfort in knowing that they had each other.
That year, Dewey had lost his wedding ring while outside doing yard work near a lake. The ring that he had worn for over 60 years was gone. Dewey searched and searched, but his ring was nowhere to be found.

It could have been anywhere—under the murky depths of the nearby lake, lying between a crevice of rocks on the shore, buried in the grass or soil. Perhaps a crow or blackbird carried the ring far away. Crushed, Dewey resigned that he would likely never find his ring again.

Two years passed, and Judith had become ill. In 2022, she was receiving care at home from a St. Croix Hospice team including Chaplain Paul Humphreys. In addition to being a hospice chaplain, Paul also happens to be an expert metal detectorist, and he’s been recovering long-lost valuables for more than 40 years all across the globe.

One morning, during a spiritual care visit with Judith and Dewey, Paul learned about Dewey’s lost ring and knew he wanted to help.

With the couple’s permission, Paul returned to their home later that same day, offered up a silent prayer and set to work searching under the water with his SCUBA-rated equipment. A myriad of signals from the lake’s murky bottom bore testimony to decades of human presence—rusty iron, nuts, bolts, tin, nails, beer cans and a century-old spoon. But, after an hour of searching in the water, Dewey’s wedding ring failed to surface.

Moving onto the shore, an overwhelming array of metallic signals chirped their presence in Paul’s headphones. Ferreting a gold ring out from all the noise was challenging, even for someone with his knowledge and expertise.

After nearly three hours of searching, a faint signal on Paul’s detector begged investigation. Cutting a plug of grass about six inches deep, Paul turned the sod over and exposed the soil and roots beneath. The metal detector’s signal was now clear and crisp. Breaking open the clump, Dewey’s wedding ring suddenly flashed golden in the evening sun.

Returning to the house, Chaplain Paul discreetly slipped the ring to Judith. “I want you to be the one to give it to him,” he told her.
When Dewey appeared, Judith asked him to come and sit beside her. With her face radiating love and grace, she held out her hand to Dewey and opened it to reveal the ring she had given him 62 years before. The emotions of that moment, Paul said, “…were beyond words!”

62 years ago, that same ring had been exchanged along with their vows. Dewey and Judith had promised to love and cherish each other all their lives, “for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health.” Through Judith’s declining health, Dewey remained by her side until she passed away peacefully in September 2022.

Like Dewey’s ring, quality time with our loved ones is precious. Chaplain Paul and the caregivers at St. Croix Hospice dedicate themselves to helping patients and their loved ones make the most out of each and every moment.

This story is shared in loving memory of Judith Sherman.

For media inquiries or more information on St. Croix Hospice, contact Kelly Buethe at kbuethe@stcroixhospice.com or 612-409-0910.

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