NORTHPORT, N.Y. – A man who found a wedding ring that was lost almost four decades ago in a floorboard in his home tracked down the owner using the ring's inscription as a clue.
The gold band had belonged to the late husband of 74-year-old Catherine Zenkus, who was to reclaim the ring Friday in a ceremony at Northport High School.
"I just cried ... because my husband is dead 18 years," said Zenkus, whose husband was named John. "I was just shocked."
The ring turned up in 2001 behind a baseboard heater in what is now John Fanuka's Northport home. Struck by the band's significance, he strove to find the couple.
Noting the inscription — "Kitty to Johnny — 3/31/51" — Fanuka consulted neighbors, searched online and phoned previous owners of the home.
But he was stumped until the recent arrival of a piece of junk mail addressed to Kitty Zenkus.
"I didn't put two and two together at first," he said. "I hadn't looked at the ring in five years ... and I ran upstairs and sure enough, it was Kitty."
An Internet search quickly led him to Zenkus, who said she and her family moved out of the house 30 years ago.
Zenkus said the couple's toddler son, Anthony, had hidden the ring during the early years of their marriage.