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Ring returns by team effort
Brenda Acklin and Shane Falkowski didn’t have much to go on.
The class ring that the Michigan couple found during a metal-detecting outing in August appeared to belong to a member of King George High School’s class of 1967. It boasted a “yellowish greenish” stone, and the initials “AMJ” were engraved on the inside.
The couple of Sanford, Mich., had long ago pledged they’d try to return personal items they uncovered while metal detecting, and so far, they’d made good on that promise.
The King George class ring was one of four they’d found this year alone—unusual considering the detector registers the rings as soda can tabs. Over the years, they’d managed to reunite three rings with their owners, including one that had been missing for 42 years.
But finding the owner of the King George ring took a little more digging than usual. Brenda Acklin began by calling multiple employees of King George High School over the course of a month. But she didn’t make much progress until she reached King George School Board member Kristin Tolliver.
After that, according to Tolliver, the mystery was solved in less than 24 hours. Tolliver put a notice about the ring on her Facebook page. Gary Butler, who is involved with the school’s alumni, saw the post and shared it on the “You’re Probably From King George/Dahlgren If . . .” Facebook page. Myrtle Sisson spotted that and immediately recognized the ring as one belonging to Anita Jones, whose daughter lives in Michigan. Jones dies in California in 1987 at age 39.
Sisson knew Jones’ sister, Helen Snedeker—the two women were in the King George High class of 1968.
Ironically, Sisson had recently run into Snedeker for the first time in 45 years, so Sisson contacted her about the ring. Snedeker knew the story from there. The ring, which had belonged to Jones and held her birthstone, tourmaline, was loaned to Jones’ granddaughter, Mariah, and subsequently lost sometime in 2012 in the same Michigan campground lake where it was found, buried under 4 inches of sand. Though the ring was missing for only a year, it took the Acklins longer to track down its story than other rings they’ve located, said Brenda Acklin.
“All we had were the initials to go by, but perseverance pays off and it is such a joy to return them and see the smile on people’s faces,” she said.
After the ring’s origins were determined, Jones’ children decided that the ring should be sent to Snedeker for safekeeping.
According to Sisson, Acklin would accept no payment for finding the ring, even for the shipping cost to get the ring back to Snedeker.
Snedeker received the ring on Monday, Oct. 7, four days after her sister’s birthday.
“It gives me goosebumps to even think about how it all got back to me and how much everyone helped,” said Snedeker.
Alison Thoet: 540/374-5444