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Lost ring returns to owner

after 42 years


By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor 

  It was approximately six weeks ago that Donna Wilson, of Stockbridge, received a curious phone call from Don Law, a former high school classmate. Law told Wilson that he received a call from Dr. J Tygar Evans, the current principal of Rome High School in Georgia, who had in turn received a call from a man in Ohio, who said he had Wilson’s 1962 class ring, and he wanted to return it to her.

Donna Wilson shows her excitement after receiving her newly discovered class ring from 1962 in the mail.

Photo by Melissa Robinson

  It turns out that Wilson didn’t realize that she had lost the ring. After graduating from West Rome High School, she got married, and the couple moved to Ohio. Busy with three small children, she didn’t realize she had lost the ring in Ohio, but estimates that she lost it approximately 42 years ago.

  “I just don’t remember. I had three children, living in Warren, Ohio in the snow. I was so busy with my kids, I don’t remember saying I lost my ring,” she said.

Wilson said she only lived in Ohio for a short time before her husband’s job transferred them back to the South. She always assumed that the ring, along with other memorabilia, was lost in a house fire in the 1970s.

  “I never gave the ring a thought; I didn’t know what happened to it. I probably would have said I lost it in a fire in 1978 in Meansville, Ga. Our house burned to the ground, and the only thing left was some blistered money, an iron skillet and burned artists’ busts,” she said.

  According to Wilson, the Ohio man’s mother, Helen Norton, was a metal detector enthusiast and spent a great deal of time looking for treasures. Although Norton doesn’t remember when she found the ring, the 92 year-old woman remembered that she found it in Columbus, Ohio, and asked her son to find the ring’s rightful owner.

  Wilson said Dr. Evans got in touch with some of her 1962 classmates, who in turn realized that the inscription of the ring had to be hers.

  “It was so funny, when I was talking to the lady’s son, he said, ‘Do you know where you lost it?’ and I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘That’s OK, my mother doesn’t even remember where she found it,’” said Wilson. “The reason I’m centering on 42 years is because my daughter is 44 and when we lived in Ohio she was two. We didn’t live there too long because the company my husband worked for sent him to Florida”

  Wilson said she was thrilled to get the ring back, as she doesn’t have any other mementos from high school. She said all the man wanted was five dollars for postage. She said she was even more excited when the ring still fit her finger.

  “It’s in great shape and not a scratch on it. This woman who found it probably had it in her jewelry box for a long time. I don’t know what her motivation was for wanting to return it,” said Wilson. “When her son asked me if I remembered where I had lost it, I said, ‘Honey, I’m 69 years old, I don’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday.’”

  Wilson said she is grateful for everyone’s efforts to return the ring, and she will treasure it.



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