Smith Center woman returns long-lost ring to SunPorch elder

When Bonnie Sollner lost her wedding ring a number of years ago, she and her son, Steve, looked everywhere. At least they thought they did.

Little did they know the ring would turn up years later – thanks to a local acquaintance.

The ring was recently discovered in the 2007 Buick the Sollners sold to Arleta Conaway, Smith Center. Conaway discovered the ring while she was looking for an item she had lost in the same car.

Sollner, 87, is an elder at SunPorch of Smith County, a long-term-care residence. She has lived there since September 2011, which was near the time the ring went missing.

“Bonnie and Steve went to Center Cup (now Second Cup Café). But when she got out of the car, she noticed the ring was gone,” explained Julie Troy, social service/activities and marketing director at SunPorch. “She thought maybe she lost it in the sewer grate because they had looked all over the road and in the car.”

The years go by. Then, as luck would have it, Conaway was moving the seats around in the Buick while searching for a watch she had misplaced.

“We moved the driver’s seat all the way forward. I found what I was looking for, as well as the ring,” Conaway said. “It had been there all those years. I was just sure it belonged to Bonnie because she bought the car when it was new.”

A short time later, Conaway took the ring to SunPorch and “I asked Bonnie if she recognized it. She almost teared up. She was so thrilled and delighted when she got it back.”

Conaway suggested to Sollner that she wear the ring on a chain around her neck since it no longer fits her finger very well. “Instead, she keeps it in a safe place. I think she is afraid of losing it again,” Conaway said.

Bonnie and the late Lee Sollner are originally from Osborne and settled on a farm near Smith Center. “The ring was the last reminder of my husband that I had left,” Sollner said. “He was gone and so was the ring. I was devastated.”

She thanked Conaway for returning the treasured item. “It is nice to know there are still honest people around.”

August 2018 • Contact: Julie Troy, 785-282-6722 •