Branson hotel worker returns Waterloo man’s lost wallet

Delbert Scheibe of Waterloo, the brother-in-law of Fred Runge, shakes hands with Branson, Mo., hotel worker Constance Gayle Blake of Jamaica upon his retrieval of Runge’s wallet last year. (submitted photo)

With so many stories out there these days of scams, fraud and theft, it’s nice to know there are kind, honest people out there in the world. And one Waterloo man in particular is especially grateful.

For more than 20 years, Fred Runge and his brother-in-law, Delbert Scheibe, have annually vacationed in Branson, Mo., enjoying the sights and sounds for many relaxing getaways.

In September, Runge, 77, and Scheibe, 69, were staying there along with others at the Whispering Hills hotel when Runge lost his wallet containing $500 cash and important financial and medical cards.

“We spent two days looking all over for this wallet,” Scheibe recalled.

Runge said he typically would place the wallet in his pillow before going to sleep at night, but had no luck finding it anywhere on or near the bed the next morning.

Fearing the worst and unable to locate the lost wallet, Runge and Scheibe returned to Waterloo from their most recent Branson trip with low spirits.

But to his surprise, Runge received a call from hotel management a few weeks later, saying the wallet had been found stuck between the bed’s headboard and the wall.

The person who found Runge’s cash-filled wallet, a woman in her 50s from Jamaica who was employed at the hotel through a temporary work visa, returned it to her manager with all of its contents inside…

“She’s working over here to support her mother, who I understand is sick,” Scheibe said of hotel worker Constance Gayle Blake, who has since returned to her home country but will hopefully be back to work at the Branson hotel again soon. After receiving the news that his wallet had been found, Runge knew his brother-in-law was planning to visit Branson again shortly. So, he had Scheibe visit the housekeeper and told him to “make sure she gets this reward.”

During this return trip, Scheibe presented Blake with $50 for her good deed.

Runge said Blake immediately mailed this reward money to her mother back home in Jamaica.

“In this day and age, you just don’t find people like her,” Runge said.

In addition to his gratitude for this woman’s kind-hearted gesture, Runge learned a valuable lesson through all of this.

“Let’s just say I have reduced my billfold down quite a bit since then,” he said.

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