A Rockingham High School class ring from 1965 was lost many years ago, but found its way home last Saturday.
Jim Welch who grew up in Rockingham and now lives in Hamlet said he and his father ran the Bowling Center in the ’60s and people often took off their rings to bowl. As a result, he often had to find the owners of left-behind rings. One such ring didn’t make it back to its owner, and was stashed away in a safe where it was forgotten. More than 40 years later, the ring was rediscovered by Welch.
Welch hoped that by putting a picture of the ring in the Daily Journal the owner would recognize it and call him. Welch found the ring on Thursday, and he received a call Saturday morning.
“A girl called and said the ring might be hers,” said Welch. “I explained the looks of the ring.”
The girl was Michelle Hunt, who lives in Rockingham. She is the daughter of Lodell Von West. His initials were engraved on the inside of the ring as L.V.W.
Hunt said a family member contacted her after reading the newspaper story about the ring.
“My aunt read the article in the paper and texted me,” said Hunt. “I contacted Mr. Welch and told him I believed it was my father’s ring. He told me where he lived and I met him at his house.”
Hunt said her mother and father separated years ago, and her father moved down to Florida. He died eight years ago. All that her family received was ashes and a small stack of pictures.
“I didn’t know it existed,” said Hunt about the ring.
“So I had the ring in my pocket this whole time,” said Welch. “And when I pulled it out and she saw the initials, she started crying and my wife started crying, then I started crying and the dog started crying.”
Hunt took the ring to her uncle’s house to verify that it was her dad’s, and she promised Welch to return the ring if it wasn’t her father’s ring. Hunt’s uncle confirmed that it belonged to her father.
“He said my dad graduated in ‘65 but he didn’t remember the ring,” said Hunt.
Hunt said she had other classmates of her father’s contact her and tell her that the ring did belong to him.
“I didn’t have anything of his until now,” said Hunt. “I cried.”
“I’m glad it found a home,” said Welch.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.