The NecklaceThis is not just any necklace, mind you. This necklace, you might say, was destined to become The necklace. Rather than destiny, I prefer to believe God was directing the events in the lives of this family. The family of Allan and Joanne Schultz was about to experience the joy through sorrow that only God in His boundless and eternal love can produce in the lives of His children.

As a young lady, Joanne Krueger did not pray for God to send her some wonderful man to marry. She was a bit more specific in her prayers; she prayed for Allan Schultz to be that man. You see Allan was the love of Joanne’s life. They had been childhood friends, their parents having been good friends through their church. God honored that prayer and on January 28, 1951, Allan and Joanne were married. Through good times and difficult times their love for each other remained strong. They raised three daughters together, Mary Jo, Vicki and Jill. They taught them the value and steadfastness of that boundless and eternal love.

After many years of living and loving, Allan and Joanne were approaching their 35th anniversary. Allen wanted to give Joanne something which would symbolize the love he had for her. Therefore he chose a gift she could wear over her heart. He visited a jeweler, Herb Reimer, whom they had known and trusted for many years. They were good friends through the church they attended. Over the years they had visited and made purchases from Reimer’s Jewelry several times. They helped Allan choose a beautiful gold pendant in the shape of a circle with a solitaire diamond in the center…the perfect choice for showing Joanne what their love meant to him. He left the store with the intention of picking up the necklace the week of their anniversary.

A week before the anniversary, Allan and Joanne went to their condominium in Door County to spend some time together. The condo was a place of cherished memories, a place that always brought them joy. This visit would be different though. The events of the week brought much sorrow to Joanne, her children and grandchildren. On January 24th, 1986, Allan suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. The family wondered how they could go on without him, but at the same time they knew God would sustain them. He was safely in the arms of God for eternity. Allan’s funeral was set for January 28th, their 35th anniversary.

A few days before the funeral, although no one recalls the exact date, Vicki, the middle daughter, received a phone call from Herb Reimer’s wife, Helen. She expressed her sympathy and informed Vicki of the necklace her father had recently purchased and that it was waiting to be picked up at the store. They wanted Allan’s daughters to know how their father had chosen the beautiful and meaningful gift for their mother. Even though they realized what a combination of pain and joy it would bring to their mom, the daughters decided it should still be a gift, just as their father had intended.

As was customary for their anniversaries, a celebration dinner was planned at a restaurant with the entire family, including grandchildren. A decision was made to gather once again, on an evening after the funeral. The next weekend the family met at Robbins Restaurant in a private room. Almost in disbelief of the events earlier in the week, there was laughing, the children were playing, sharing good food and stories of past dinners and wonderful memories. When dinner was done they presented their father’s gift to their mother. Time stood still for a moment. What a beautiful necklace it was. Life was never going to be the same, but somehow the love between these two people would never leave them. Joanne put on the necklace and there it stayed, until the nurse removed it when her heart stopped beating, November 23, 2015.

The beautiful story behind the necklace, and what it meant to this family, needed to be shared. We wondered if Allan could have known how important a gift it would be!

By Jill Pearson – Survivor, Daughter, and Sister Currently Wearing The Necklace