County Employees Go Above And Beyond To Help Find Ring



I would like to bring to your attention recent efforts made by Gila County public works employees on my behalf. I am speaking of Bill Williams, operations supervisor for recycling and landfill management, Bob Whittle and Jerry Ninninger. I’m getting a little ahead of myself, so let me explain.

Just before Christmas, I was throwing some recycle newspapers into a recycle bin at Green Valley Park and accidentally lost my wedding band. I have been on a diet for three months and lost enough weight so that the ring fit much too loosely on my finger. Although I tried to retrieve it, the ring was lost in all the paper and cardboard.

This ring had special significance to me as it belonged to my father, who wore it for 45 years while married to my mother. It actually was one of the only things that I had left of his and it had tremendous value to me.

I called the city waste management office and was directed to Bill Williams. I told Bill my story and said I would be more than happy to help him look for the lost ring if I could be there when the Dumpster was emptied.

He said that he didn’t have anyone to help him go through the bin, but would put it aside until he had a helper. He said he would call me after Christmas to start the search.

Ten days passed and I thought they had forgotten. Then Bill called to tell me he could empty the bin today. If I wanted to help him go through it, I was welcome. We agreed to meet in an hour at the waste pit across from the Tonto Natural Bridge on Highway 87.

My wife and I met Bill and another employee, Bob Whittle. Bob emptied the Dumpster on level ground and we proceeded to start our search. Believe me, my heart sank down as we looked at almost two tons of debris, about three feet high.

Bill had a metal detector and I had brought mine, so we started clearing the boxes and papers looking for the ring. I had an idea of where it might be in the 40 feet of paper, so we concentrated on that area.

Bill had told me that another employee, Jerry Ninninger, had already gone into the Dumpster but hadn’t found anything.

We looked for almost 45 minutes, my hopes diminishing. I made a pass over some of the paper with my detector and thought I heard a faint tone. Bill reached down to the ground and came up with a ring, asking me if I thought it was mine. Indeed it was my dad’s ring.

While my wife was in tears, I was certainly the happiest of people. I had brought a $100 bill to reward the crew who might find the ring. To my amazement, Bill refused to take anything. He said just finding it had made his day and he would not accept any kind of reward.

It was at this time that I decided to try and do something for the people who helped me by writing

a letter to you and the local paper, maybe even a television station, telling them of the episode. I want everyone to know that these employees are to be commended for their ethics and honesty. I hope you will say something to their superiors about this amazing act of kindness and generosity.

Events like this happen too often without any words of praise to those involved. I don’t want that to happen this time. I hope you will take the time to thank them for their actions.

I am going to also nominate them for (Good Guy awards) from the Payson Roundup.

This wonderful action certainly helps renew my faith in my fellow man and is a great way to start off the new year.

I think my dad was helping us find the ring as well.

A Happy New Year to you and your family and also to Bill, Bob and Jerry.

Jeffrey L. Robbins

Editor’s note:

Bill, Bob and Jerry, you really are good guys! Pick up your Good Guy awards at the Roundup office, 708 N. Beeline Highway, in the Swiss Village shops.


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