To Have and To Hold: Honoring a Father, Husband, and a Long-Awaited Engagement Ring

Creating a diamond from a loved one’s ashes means that person was truly remarkable. It means they deserve to have their legacy immortalized, their story shared. 

Catherine and Frank

People choose to grow memorial diamonds for myriad reasons. Some honor their loved one with a diamond to represent how their smile lit up the world, while others want to create a treasured keepsake that will endure through generation after generation.  

For Eterneva customer, Joyce, growing a diamond from her beloved father’s ashes is a way to honor his memory while gifting her mother the engagement ring she’s always dreamed of.  

Meet Frank 

The youngest of three children, Frank was a first generation American. His parents emigrated from Poland to New Jersey with not a penny between their pockets. They didn’t speak any English, but they each had a strong work ethic, which they instilled in Frank and his siblings.

Frank with his four grandchildren

“My dad grew up in a different world, during the Depression,” shares Joyce, “He worked at his brother’s restaurant while he was in college, and when I was growing up he worked all day , from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. It was hard-earned money, but he made sure we never went without.”

Frank worked long hours throughout the year so he could take off for several weeks every summer to go to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. “He was a creature of habit,” Joyce laughs, “which was why we always went to Myrtle Beach. And he was Mr. Social. He loved to hang out by the pool and just have conversations with people.” 

A Marriage to Last the Ages 

Joyce’s parents—Frank and Catherine—enjoyed an incredible sixty-five years of marriage. Catherine recalls the start of their lifelong love fondly, which began when she was just seventeen years old and taking the bus to art school. 

Catherine and Frank - Wedding Day

“He lived about two and a half blocks from me at the time,” shares Catherine, “and he used to see me get on the bus. One day, he decided to ride the bus so he could have a conversation with me. He liked to talk about what was going on in the world, and I talked to him about art. We met like this a few days in a row and I would tell him, ‘Frank, don’t forget I’m headed to art school in another city.’ So I’d get off and transfer to another bus to go on to school and he’d stay on the bus and ride it back home.”  

Three years later, they married on May 18 on what Catherine recalls as a beautiful day in New Jersey. 

Joyce with Dad (Frank) and Grandma

They had one daughter, Joyce, and while Catherine primarily took care of the home, Frank worked to ensure they always had what they needed. “Times were tight, sometimes,” Catherine admits, and although she would have loved to wear a diamond on her left ring finger, she knew they had other priorities. 

Frank’s Diamond 

Frank passed away in June at the age of ninety years old. He and Catherine stayed with Joyce and her family, and therefore he was fortunate to spend quality time with their four grandchildren. 

Joyce and Frank

“When he died,” shares Joyce, “I was traveling with the kids in Portugal. We came home early, of course, and as we were coming home, my oldest son mentioned having a diamond made from his ashes. It was an intriguing concept to me because my dad had never gotten my mom an engagement ring, and her wedding band slipped off sometime this past year. We haven’t been able to find it. So, it makes this ring with my dad’s diamond all that much more significant.” 

With her mother’s blessing, Joyce sent a portion of her father’s ashes to Eterneva to grow a classic, colorless diamond, which will be set in a ring for her Catherine and can eventually be passed on as a precious family heirloom. The diamond itself will bear the engraving: “65 years together.” 

For Catherine, Frank’s diamond will serve as a reminder of the sixty-five years they spent together, talking about the world, art, and traveling. “I’m going to remember my entire life with him,” shares Catherine. “We had a good relationship. A good life. I’m glad for my part that I said yes to him when he first asked me to go out with him way back when we were young.”