I sit in my office reflecting on the upcoming week and the terrific loss that me and my son Christopher Tietgen experienced in July of 1986 when my husband and Chris’ father, William Roy Tietgen, Jr., was killed in a car accident with a dump truck.
I remember clearly going up to relieve the receptionist when I worked at Arvida Corporation on Longboat Key. The very first call I took was from a lady at Manatee Memorial Hospital. I could tell by her voice that she did not have good news for me when she asked for Brenda Tietgen.
This kind lady sweetly asked me to come to Manatee Memorial Hospital, that my husband had been in an accident. I didn’t know where the hospital was since I was new to Bradenton, so my boss Michael Bayer took me to the hospital.
Once there, I was taken to a room where my mother-in-law was, and they came in and told me he had died in a car wreck. My heart was broken, my world was turned upside down. We had a young son at home that I had to break the news to. My family in Georgia was called and about 15-20 family members made the long drive down to Bradenton.
Upon receiving his belongings from the hospital, I did not at the time realize that all was returned to me except his Citadel class ring from 1967. This ring had his initials engraved on the inside.
I’ve gone on Facebook before and posted my search for his ring. This ring would not mean anything to anyone else except me and our son. It was just strange that I got his wallet, credit cards, cash, wedding ring and watch back but not his Citadel ring. It would make this 30-year anniversary special if someone sees this letter and returns the ring.