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The Brentlinger Diamond

Lorraine Brentlinger was born January 7, 1919.  Her mother, Elsie, died one week later most likely from complications of childbirth, but this is non-verifiable. 

Elsie’s  husband, Roy Brentlinger, was born August 15, 1894. He became a chief dispatcher of Norfolk Southern Railroad and was a Deacon of the church. 

During the same year that his wife died and his daughter was born, Roy purchased a 2 1/2 carat European cut diamond from jeweler, Grover Spangler, in Fremont, Nebraska. The receipt said, Perfect Gem Quality. He paid $1,000 for the gem, and wore it in a man’s ring to forever remind him of both his beloved wife and his newborn child. (Ring shown in photo with granddaughter, Nancy.)

After not seeing Roy for 26 years, Lorraine traveled to Nebraska to visit him.  Roy had a massive heart attack and died one day after her arrival. 

After Roy passed away, Lorraine and Roy’s current wife, Annabelle, walked down to the basement of their house and discovered the eccentric collections of Roy. They found 50 lbs of licorice, hundreds of packs of razor blades, and 25 baseball gloves. This was striking because Roy never played baseball!

Roy and Elsie had a grand daughter named Nancy (the contributor of this story) who was born the same day as Roy.  Because of this, Roy promised to bequeath his precious diamond to her. 

In 1965, Nancy reset the diamond into a ladies ring mounting which she wore until 2022, when she passed the sparkling gem to her grandson, Matthew. 

Matthew gave the gem to Diamond Mike Watson, a jewelry designer at Gallery of Diamonds in Santa Ana, California, to create an engagement ring for his fiancé, Kylie.   

Main Street jeweler Grover Spangler is in the passenger seat of this delivery truck owned by Fremont Brewing Co in Fremont, Nebraska. – Courtesy Photo of Joan Bancel. Photo- 1906. 

Thanks to Roy Brentlinger’s granddaughter, Nancy, for sharing her memories for this story. 

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