Class Ring Lost In Maine 47 Years Ago Discovered In Finland

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
Font Size:

A woman who lost her late husband’s high school class ring 47 years ago in Maine is being reunited with it thanks to a man who discovered it in Finland. 

Debra McKenna met her husband Shawn in 1973 while they were both students at Morse High School in Maine. She said he asked her out on Valentine’s Day, and soon gave her his class ring. Not long after he gave her the ring, McKenna went to a restroom in a department store, took the ring off to wash her hands, and forgot to put it back on before leaving the bathroom. Once she had realized she forgot it and returned to retrieve it, the ring was already gone, according to WGME

“I left my name and number [at the store] but never got contacted by anybody, and that was it,” McKenna said. “I never saw it again.”

Shawn wasn’t upset with her when she lost the ring, and they went on to have three children and a third grandchild that’s currently on the way, WGME reports. Until this year, the ring was forgotten about. 

A Finnish newspaper story reported on January 17 that a man named Marko Saarinen had found a blue-stoned, silver ring using a metal detector in a forested city park in Kaarina, Finland. He contacted the Morse High School Alumni Association to locate the ring’s owner. (RELATED: Finland Sings ‘Country Roads’ After Winning Gold At Hockey Worlds)

The alumni association easily identified who the ring had belonged to from the initials and 1973 graduation date on the ring. McKenna said she was unsure how her late husband’s ring could have turned up in a Finnish forest, and that while he had spent some time in Finland for work in the early 1990s, he was never near the city where the ring was found. At that point, he hadn’t seen the ring in 20 years.

The ring was also discovered by a man who works in ship building, and Morse High School’s mascot is named the “Shipbuilders.” 

“Shawn used to say there’s no such thing as coincidences,” McKenna said, according to WGME.

McKenna said the story of her husband’s lost ring returning to her might be a sign of Shawn trying to communicate with her after she says she fell adrift in the two years following his death. 

“He’s telling me to get my act together. To get going with the rest of my life,” McKenna said.

McKenna received the ring in the mail last week.