I would like to ask for the help of the people in my surrounding area.
I am trying to help my Aunt Debbie Feltman Perez locate a work of art she created many years ago in memory of her mother; Sarah Marie McGuire Feltman.
The story begins as one of grief and an outlet to help alleviate the grief. You see, my grandmother was killed in a horrific head-on collision with an 18-wheeler in 1985 while traveling home after visiting her sister in Hamilton.
After much thought and prayer her daughter, a talented artist, felt compelled to paint a portrait in her mother’s honor.
This was no ordinary painting, but a life-size rendition of the Resurrection of Christ.
She put many hours of time into this project. Her husband, Ernie Perez, who is a wonderful carpenter among other things, built a beautiful frame.
They had a brass plate attached with my grandmother’s name on it and the fact that it was donated in her honor and memory.
This beautiful and thoughtful artwork was donated to North Highlands Baptist Church in Littleville and hung there for many years.
A year ago right before Easter, Debbie’s daughter, Anna Perry, decided to take a trip down memory lane and visited the church so she could look at her mother’s work.
She was shocked to find that her mother’s portrait was gone, and even more shocking was that NOBODY seemed to know where it was.
She asked several people, and no one could give her any idea as to where it could be. My question is how does a life-size painting just come up missing?
I remember the painting even though it has been 27 years since she passed and I was only 14 years old.
It was heavy enough that it would have taken two grown men to lift and hang it. Anna was told by one lady, “the church had a yard sale not too long ago and it might have possibly been sold.”
I am so upset that this church had such little regard for this painting that it was disposed of.
I know it has been a long time since my grandmother’s death. However, I am sure that there are at least a few people there who remember her. She was a member there for years and her name was on the portrait.
I feel that someone there could have put forth a little effort and contacted my Aunt Debbie to she if she would have liked to have it back.
I know at my church we put every little thing to a vote, and we would never have gotten rid of such a personal gift.
My Aunt Debbie is a very kind, sweet and mild-mannered lady. She, while very sad, is just willing to let it go.
I, however, have a little more spunk than she does. I have got plenty of “Aycock” in me.
This was my maiden name, and I come from a family of strong women who stand up for what they believe in.
I cannot let this matter go without at least trying to do something.
My grandmother was a beautiful soul, a wonderful gardener and cook as well as a dedicated wife, mother and grandmother. Four of her granddaughters have her name in some form as their own.
She was special to us, and we would love to locate the portrait. I still remember the day we were notified of her death, and my mother for one took it very hard and to this day she misses her greatly.
Now comes where I am asking for your help. I know that I am looking for that “needle in a haystack.”
I am hoping that someone who might have attended a yard sale hosted by North Highlands Baptist Church in Littleville might read this article.
Our family would love to have this personal treasure back.
I hang my hopes on the fact that it was sold because the alternative is that it simply was thrown away, and I cannot wrap my mind around that.
If anyone has seen this painting or knows what might have become of it, please contact me. I will leave my phone number, email address and mailing address with The Franklin County Times.
I am not going to hold my breath that I will be contacted, but I can hope and pray for some “divine intervention.”
Tammy Aycock Holt