Class Ring, Found in Sewer, Returned After 54 Years

Owner of 1961 class ring thankful for the diligence of two Poplar Bluff, Missouri, utility workers who went out of their way
Class Ring, Found in Sewer, Returned After 54 Years
Photo courtesy of KFVS-TV

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Wade Stoner, Bobby Rice, Marlin Barker, Steve Whitworth

It had been over a half century since a Missouri man last saw his 1961 class ring. That was until two Poplar Bluff city workers found the 10-karat gold ring and went the extra mile to find its rightful owner, reports KFVS-TV.

“It’s a little loose, but it fits,” Bobby Rice told reporters.

The Air Force veteran said he handed off his class ring 54 years ago, and didn’t think he’d ever see it again.

“I was home from basic training, getting ready to go to Germany,” Rice said. “I gave it to a young girl, and I left for Germany. I was in Germany for three years, and that’s the last time I seen the ring and the girl.”

According to the report, utility workers Wade Stoner and Marlin Barker were cleaning a sewer line on the east side of town when they found the ring late last month.

“We could tell it was a class ring when we picked it up,” Stoner said.

Stoner said it “was not a pretty ring” after it sat suspended in the sewer system for an unknown period of time. Regardless of the ring’s appearance, the two workers felt they had a responsibility to find out whom it belonged to and were diligent in their efforts.

“Found the year on the top of the ring. Saw it was a Poplar Bluff ring,” Stoner said. “I called my wife and had her contact the school to look in the yearbook, and it was only two possibilities of who it could be.”

KFVS12 News

Local jeweler Steve Whitworth said restoring it was quite the feat.

“It had years of corrosion on it,” Whitworth said of the ring. “Whenever it’s gold, it can almost always be restored. And it was in good shape, sound shape underneath all the stuff.

“People care about each other,” he added. “Those guys could have come in and sold the gold for scrap. But they wanted to find who the owner was.”

Rice gets nostalgic now that the ring is back in his possession.

“When I looked at the ring, I remembered the days I was playing football,” he said.

This is the second class ring Stoner and Barker have found and returned, according to KFVS-TV. The other class ring was found about five years ago and dated 1977.

Source: KFVS-TV


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