Barry Brennan, 35, lost his 32-year-old wife Toni to cancer on September 5 after a year of battling the illness.
While taking their three children, Harry, 17, Oliver, 13, and four-year-old Charlotte to see the fireworks display at Pope’s Meadow on November 5, Barry believes the phone fell from his pocket while lifting daughter Charlotte.
The missing iPhone 5S contains some of the last pictures and videos of Toni and the family together before she died – and Barry is desperate for its return.
“It would mean the world to me to get it back, it had everything on it,” said Barry.
Toni’s mum, Judith Syratt, even wrote to the CEO of Apple in a bid to get help.
Judith said: “My daughter, his wife, did all the bills and settled the phone. She set it all up for him ... so when he dropped it and went to Apple and didn’t know the password, they couldn’t help.”
Devoted mum-of-three Toni had battled cancer for around six months before she was told it was terminal. Doctors were reportedly shocked at the speed of her illness.
Judith said: “She was told she’d have 18 months and we were planning christmas, but in the end she had only a few more weeks.
“She was so brave and never complained. Barry wouldn’t let her go into a hospice. He washed her, he dressed her, he fed her. He’d be by her bedside for days while I looked after the children.”
Judith added: “She’d go to church, she was a great person right there in the community and she’d help anybody. And she was a terrific mum.”
After meeting in London as teenagers, Barry and Toni moved to Luton while still very young and bought their first home. They married in St Joseph’s Church and lived nearby at Letchworth Road.
“It would mean the absolute world to him to get the phone back,” said Judith. “There’s photos of them when they were young, videos of her speaking - even the voicemail of her saying they weren’t home!
Barry said: “It’s the recent memories and all going through the last year. You know, I’ve never lost a phone in my life!
“On the night, I was a bit distressed, I was crying. I came across a group of teenagers and I said, ‘I’ve lost my phone and it means more to me than anything’.”
He was touched as the group switched on their phone torches and retraced the family’s footsteps from the park and along New Bedford Road in an effort to help find the phone.
Barry said: “Fair play to them, it sort of restored my faith in humanity!
“Just to get it back would be fantastic. We were together for 21 years.”
The family are offering a reward for the phone’s return. The missing IPhone 5S was inside a brown leather case, and is believed to have been dropped in the Pope’s Meadow and New Bedford Road area.
Anyone with information call 01582 798512 or email [email protected]