Woman seeks lost, beloved piano

Nearly five years ago, while financially strapped because of medical bills, Kathy Leclere sold her most prized possession: a piano given to her by her parents on her 12th birthday.

She was living in Independence, Mo., at the time. She sold it for $1,200 to a woman from either Lawrence or Topeka – she can’t remember which – with a young daughter. A relative, either the buyer’s mother or mother-in-law, who was a church organist in the Kansas City area, also met them to advise them on the purchase.

“It just broke my heart to be selling that,” Leclere says. “The mother could see that. I cried when the piano company came to move it.”

The buyer made a promise: If Leclere was ever able to buy the piano back, she was to call the family and they would work out a deal.

Since then, Leclere, 42, says she has continued to have health problems, fighting thyroid cancer, diabetes and a joint disease similar to rheumatoid arthritis. But she’s gradually scrapped together enough money to buy back the piano, which is a 30-year-old Kawai.

Her problem: During one of several moves she’s made in the past few years, she lost the slip of paper that had the family’s name and phone number on it.

She’s called hundreds of churches in the area to try to find the organist mother or mother-in-law. She recently contacted the Journal-World for help in finding the new piano owners.

Kathy Leclere, of Overland Park, would like to buy back the piano she sold to a family in Lawrence or Topeka nearly five years ago when she needed to pay for medical bills.

Leclere, who now lives in Overland Park, says her health has kept her from working as an ordained Methodist minister. But she says, “one of the things I can do is sit down at the piano and play.”

If she had a piano.

She’s hoping anyone who knows of the piano’s whereabouts will call her at (816) 560-1704.

“At the time, I was just absolutely strapped and the piano was the only asset I had,” she says. “If I could do anything over again, I’d live with everything I’ve done – other than sell that piano.”