Carrollton Fire Captain's Widow Meets Mechanic Who Found Long-Lost Service Coin

For Lisa Holbert, it is a memory of her late husband she never thought she’d get back

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The widow of a North Texas firefighter got a precious piece of her past she never thought she'd get back and it's all thanks to a thoughtful mechanic with a keen eye.


A gold service coin holds not only memories of Lisa Holbert's late husband but a story of service and loss.

In March 2020, Carrollton Fire Capt. Lee Holbert received the coin for his 30 years of service with the fire department, but he lost it the same day.

"He said he heard it rolling and he said, 'We looked and we looked and we looked and there was a little tiny thin area and I know it went right down there and it was somewhere on the streets of Carrollton,'" recalled Lisa Holbert.

Tragically, Lee passed away six months later, never finding his coin. At his memorial, both the fire chief and the police chief at the time gave Lisa their own anniversary coins.


Then, almost three years later, fire mechanic Nick Anselmo was working deep inside a fire truck when he caught a glimpse of something shiny.

It blew my mind

Nick Anselmo, City of Carrollton Mechanic

"I find all kinds of random stuff when I'm working on trucks," said Anselmo. "And I saw that and for some reason, I don't know what pointed me to actually take it apart and look for it … but I looked under the dash and I was like, 'Oh cool, a coin, oh this is a cool little fire coin,' and when I flipped it over I saw the 30 years, I was like, 'Oh man, someone misses this.'"

Anselmo reported the priceless momento and then learned the story behind it. He met Lisa Holbert in person for the first time on Thursday — the same day he celebrated two years of service with the City of Carrollton.

"I just told him, 'You're my hero, you found something that just means so much to me.' He said, 'No, your husband was the hero,'" said Lisa Holbert.

Lisa Holbert said she can't stop smiling and her whole family is grateful for the coin's return.

Holbert said she plans to gather all of her husband's coins and have them displayed in his man cave at the family's home.

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