Man whose wife died in house fire finds missing wedding rings

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We have an update to a story about a man who lost his wife in a fire, and then lost three reminders of the woman he loved. A week ago, Todd Gillette asked for your help to find two wedding rings and a third ring. He was wearing them on a chain, to keep his wife close to his heart. The chain broke, and he thought they were somewhere in Family Park. This week, he found a big surprise in his own yard.

You can spot equipment all over Todd’s property, that’ll help him put together his future. He’s rebuilding his house, after a December fire that killed his wife, Lisa.

“She was so special. She is,” Todd said.

As if that wasn’t devastating enough, last week he told us he was heartbroken when he lost three rings, including his wedding ring and Lisa’s wedding ring.

“It’s all I have… I don’t have anything left of her, or… I just want them back,” Todd said during our first story.

Just when he was ready to say goodbye to the few memories he had left of Lisa, something amazing happened. A garbage collector found his ring. It was actually in the street in front of his house. Then Todd found the other rings on his property. It seems pretty lucky, but Todd thinks it’s more than that.

“Maybe it’s an early Valentine’s Day present from her. I’m not sure, but it’s a great feeling to have them back again,” Todd said.

Todd believes the chain broke in family park, and the rings fell into his work coveralls and then fell out one by one on his property.

“They fell out at that time and I got in the skidloader and drove over them 20 times, 30 times that day. Not to mention a whole week’s worth of construction, people driving back and forth,” Todd said.

The rings are somewhere safe, and he didn’t even want to bring them out to show us. Can you blame him?

“It’s just something I probably won’t put on my body again. I just know where they are. I won’t take any chance of losing them again,” Todd said.

You can rebuild and re-plan the future, but whether it’s three rings — or one very special person — you can never replace the past.

“I want to keep her memory for the rest of my life,” Todd said.

Todd wants to thank everyone in the community who contacted him wanting to help find the rings. There will be a benefit honoring Lisa, and to help the family with expenses following the fire. The benefit is March 21, at the Thirsty Duck in Sioux Falls. It begins at 12 p.m.

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