WOOSTER — It all started with a jewelry box.
When Pam Lindeman walked into the Goodwill store, she expected just to have a look around.
“Just because you’re retired and out running around,” Lindeman said of her stop at the used goods store. “And I enjoy going through thrift stores.”
But what she left with was a special memento instead.
Lindeman purchased a handmade wooden jewelry box for $4.
“I thought, well I have four granddaughters,” Pam said, “and whenever I see these kind of things, I think I’ll hold onto it in case somebody might want something. I thought, ‘A handmade little box, my granddaughters will just love that.’ ”
Pam and her husband, Kim, from Shreve, make the trip to Wooster about once a week. While Pam made her way through other stores, Kim waited in the parking lot and decided to have a look through his wife’s purchases from Goodwill.
He came across the jewelry box with two drawers and purple lining. Kim opened the top drawer, lifted up the lining and found an envelope containing a $100 savings bond from The Commercial & Savings Bank in Millersburg.
“I was sitting in the truck and I thought, ‘Now what did she buy?,’” Kim said. “And that’s when I found [the envelope]. I just stuck the envelope above the visor. When she got back in the truck, I said, ‘You got a pretty good deal on that box.’”
“I said, ‘I know I did, it’s really nice,’” Pam laughed.
That was when Pam reached up and saw the $100 savings bond.
“Of course, it’s not ours,” Pam said. “We have to get it back to the person it belongs to.”
The bond was issued in 1974 to Jeanine Kendle, then of Winesburg, with her father, Robert L. Kendle, noted as an authorized signer. The Lindemans found Jeanine, thanks to some savvy internet research by Pam’s sister, Deb Drown.
″[Deb] is my go-to person to look up things on the internet,” Pam said. “She called me back a little while later and said, ‘She works at The Daily Record.’”
The Lindemans drove to The Daily Record office Oct. 22 to return the bond to Kendle, who said the jewelry box was from her grandmother, Ida Schneider, of Winesburg.
“It’s quite the surprise when you’re paged to the front office and greeted by a couple you don’t know with, ‘Are you Jeanine Fae Kendle?’” said Kendle, who is the page design center manager at The Daily Record. “My first response was, ‘How do you know my middle name? No one knows that.’ ”
Kim asked Kendle what color the jewelry box lining was and she answered purple. That’s when they handed over the savings bond Kendle left inside so many years ago.
“Grandma had given me savings bonds on holidays many times when I was young, saying I could use them for college or a car one day,” Kendle said. “I must have put that one in the jewelry box, and obviously forgot about it. This bond was a gift from her and my uncle (her son) John Schneider.”
Kendle said the box was made by a man in her hometown of Winesburg and she received it as a gift when she was a child. The jewelry box was part of several bags of items she dropped off at Goodwill the week before.
“That box had moved with me umpteen times in the past 40-plus years,” Kendle said. “It’s amazing it never got lost.”
“I was just glad I was able to find the person it belonged to,” Pam said.
The bond is now worth over $500 after nearly 45 years of accruing interest. Kendle said she hasn’t cashed out the bond yet, but she hopes to pay it forward in the same way that the Lindemans did for her.
“I’m truly grateful for the effort Kim and Pam made to return that bond to me,” Kendle said. “It was a kind thing to do and I appreciate it very much. It shows what special people they are.”
“We were glad to do it,” Pam said. “It’s just what you do. You do what’s right.”
Kristin Hohman can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at Kay_elizabeth07.