D211 Post: Class Ring Returned After 44 Years

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            When Ruth Ford-Drake was a student at William Fremd High School, she did what most teenagers of the ‘70’s did when they started a new relationship.  She gave her boyfriend her class ring.  That exchange was the last time she would see the ring for 44 years. 

            “The ring cost around $150 at the time,” Ford-Drake said.  “When it went missing, I couldn’t even tell my mom that it had been lost.”

          

Ruth Ford-Drake when she was a junior at Fremd High School in 1974.

            Assuming the ring went missing at her boyfriend’s house, Ford-Drake said they searched for it for an extensive amount of time.  Following her junior year at Fremd, Ford-Drake moved to Northbrook where she graduated in 1975. At that point, she gave the ring up for lost.

            Fast forward to 2019 and an item bouncing from office to office.  Fremd Speech Language Pathologist Tara Pegarsch, who manages the Fremd alumni Facebook page said a faculty member approached her with an old class ring.

            “This ring had gone from office to office for years with people trying to find the owner,” Pegarsch said.  “They brought to ring to me to see if I could use the page to find her.”

The ring was posted to the Fremd alumni Facebook page.

            After finding the engraved name within the ring, she posted a photo on the page hoping one of the members would recognize the name.  Within 10 minutes, Ford-Drake’s sister had responded.  Through that response, Pegarsch was able to contact Ford-Drake directly.

            “I received a message asking if I graduated from Fremd in 1975,” said Ford-Drake.  “I initially thought it was a scam.  Then I saw the ring in the picture and realized it was real.”

            After the initial shock of seeing the missing ring passed, Ford-Drake said she was finally able to do something she hadn’t been able to do in four decades.

            “I called my mother to tell her,” she said.  “She spent so much on that ring that I couldn’t tell her it was missing until I had it back on my finger.”

            Ford-Drake added that she was thrilled to have the ring returned after giving up for lost. 

            “I appreciate Tara reaching out to me,” she said.  “I’m grateful for kind and caring people like her.  It’s nice to know there are still people like that.”