Class ring reunited with owner after 30 years

This is the photo Curtis Rose of North Dakota posted on Facebook, which was later shared by the Monticello school’s Facebook page, to try and find the owner of the lost 1983 class ring. (Photo submitted)

Theresa Martin

This is the class ring, which has since been reunited with the owner, Theresa Martin. You can see Monticello Community School District around the stone, and the Panther on the band. (Photo by Kim Brooks)
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Theresa Martin could not have asked for a better Christmas miracle than getting her high school class ring back after 30 years.

     Martin graduated from Monticello High School with the Class of 1983. However, she bought her class ring during her sophomore year. When choosing her class ring, Martin wanted a Garnet stone on the top, the color of her birthstone. She also had her graduation year added, an image of the MHS Panther, and a basketball.

     With two other siblings, Martin said she told her mother, Francis Harmsen, that she didn’t need an expensive class ring.

     “For $70, I thought it was neat,” she recalled.

     However, some time between her sophomore year and senior year, Martin lost the ring.

     “It’s just been so long ago,” she said. “I lost it right when I got it.”

     She said in her mind, she tried retracing her steps but she was never able to find it.

     Then, two weeks ago, Martin was contacted by a man, Curtis Rose, from North Dakota. Rose was in Cedar Rapids a couple of years ago working on a construction site when he noticed something shiny in the dirt on the ground.

     “It just caught my eye,” he said during a phone interview. “So I picked it up and brought it back with me to North Dakota.”

     After hanging on to the ring for a couple of years, Rose said his girlfriend and another friend, Kathy Demers, who works for the school district in Grafton, N.D., urged him to finally find the owner.

     “For the past couple of years we’ve tried finding the owner,” he said.

     They posted a photo of the ring with some information on Facebook. Demers also reached out to the Monticello Community School District. Judy Hayen, district secretary, then posted the photos of the ring on the school’s Facebook page.

     From there, locals started sharing the post to help find the owner. Knowing the year and owner’s initials were on the ring (1983 and TKM), the Express searched its graduation archives. The only person with those exact initials who graduated in 1983 was Theresa Kay Martin.

     On Friday, Dec. 9, Martin received a call from her sister while at work at the Penn Center in Delhi.

     “My sister never calls me at work,” she said. This led to thinking something was wrong.

     “She told me someone on Facebook found my ring,” she said in tears.

     On Dec. 10, Martin was contacted by Rose, informing her that he was pretty sure she was the owner of the class ring.

     “I thought it would be a nice Christmas present,” he said.

     The two visited with one another, exchanging phone numbers and addresses. Martin was finally reunited with her class ring on Dec. 15.

     Both Demers and Rose said they feel like local celebrities in North Dakota, with news spreading about Martin’s class ring.

     “It’s amazing what Facebook does,” said Demers. “Thank God the initials were put on the ring.”

     Demers said she’s also very excited that Martin got her high school ring back.

     “It’s just nice to make someone happy,” she said.

     Martin said knowing the ring was found in Cedar Rapids, she tried to think of how it would have ended up there, perhaps while attending a concert or something during her years in high school.

     Looking at the ring now, she said no one would ever know it was sitting in the dirt all this time.

     When she opened the box it was mailed in, Martin said Rose had it sitting inside a royal blue ring box, cleaned, looking just like the day she bought it.

     “I knew right away it was my ring,” she said. “It fit perfectly. I just cried. It gave me goose bumps.”

     Martin said she truly believes things happen for a reason, especially now more than ever.

     She said so many people on Facebook helped to put her in contact with Rose, who found the ring so long ago.

     “God made this happen for a reason,” she said.

     After high school, Martin served for three and a half years in the Navy. She lived in Texas for a while before moving back to the area to be closer to family. She now resides in Hopkinton.


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