A woman has been reunited with her late husband’s high school class ring which she lost in Portland 47 years ago, after it was found in a Finnish forest in January.
Debra McKenna, 63, lost the ring while she was a student in Morse High School, Maine, in 1973. She received the blue-stoned silver ring from her husband Shawn, who was her boyfriend at the time.
Shawn died in 2017 after battling cancer for six years. The couple had been together since high school and married in 1977, remaining together for 40 years until his death.
Ms McKenna told local newspaper Bangor Daily News they had forgotten about the ring until Marko Saarinen, a sheet metal worker in Finland, contacted the Morse High School Alumni Association hoping to find the ring’s owner.
Mr Saarinen found the ring while using a metal detector in a forested area of Kaarina, a small town in southwest Finland.
A regular metal detecting hobbyist, Mr Saarinen told local newspaper Ilta-Sanomat he had “an incredible feeling” when he discovered the ring, since “usually my findings are bottle caps or other junk”.
The ring, which was buried abut eight inches in the ground, had the school’s name on it as well as the year 1973 and the initials SM engraved on the inside.
Mr Saarinen found the high school’s alumni group on Facebook and with their help, figured the ring had belonged to Shawn and posted it to Ms McKenna. He was gifted a Morse High School hoodie as thanks.
Neither party knows how the ring ended up in Finland. According to Ms McKenna, her late husband had worked in Finland for a while but it had been around 20 years since he had seen the ring by then.
“There was a lot of weeping when I learned that someone found it and made the effort to reach out and find me,” she said.
“It’s very touching in this world of negativity, to have decent people step forward and make an effort.
“There are good people in the world and we need more of them,” she added.