Granddaughter finds Battle Lake woman's lost wedding dress

Fergus Falls teenager finds her grandmothers lost wedding dress
Ella Richards fell in love with her grandma's wedding dress when she came across Pat Kostelecky's photo at her funeral. The picture sent Richards on a search for Grandma's dress. (Forum News Service)

FARGO — A college student and her love for a grandmother she recently lost led her to search for Grandma's missing wedding dress from the 1960s.

"She had a heart of gold, and she was always upbeat," 19-year-old Ella Richards said of Grandma Pat.

Pat Kostelecky of Battle Lake, Minn., died recently. While going through photos at the funeral, Richards saw Kostelecky in a wedding dress. It was the 1960s.

"And I fell in love with it when I saw the picture," Richards said. She thought there was something magical about that dress, and she wanted to find it.


"My aunts and mom were like, 'it has to be here somewhere,' and my grandpa was like, 'maybe she sold it,'" Richards said.

Nobody knew where it was. Most gave up looking.

"I looked from November to last week, and finally I found it," Richards said, in a part of the house nobody bothered to look.

"It was in a back closet that you have to walk through another closet to get to and, yes, there it was," she said.

Richards tried it on, and it fit.

"I love it. So I put it back on and I walked down the step and I said, 'Grandpa, look what I found.' And he said, 'wow, you look beautiful in it, too,'" Richards said.

Richards has no immediate plans of getting married, but when she does, Grandma Pat's dress will be going down the aisle with her.

"In a way, I knew Grandma was there. I think she knew where her dress was the whole time we were searching for it," Richards said.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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