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Missing high school ring discovered after 65 years

Class ring found near lake in Wisconsin.

By Associated_Press Jul 29, 2013 3:18PM

MATTOON, Ill. (AP) — If finding a high school ring doesn't seem like a big deal, consider this: Until a few days ago, the last time Dick Diedrich saw his ring he was living in suburban Chicago with his parents and Harry Truman was in the White House.

Diedrich, 82, now has his class of 1949 ring from J. Sterling Morton High School in Cicero thanks to a Waukesha, Wis., man who returned it after finding the keepsake in a lake near his home using a metal detector.

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The ring's journey back to its proper owner in Illinois began with Mike Geiger's phone call earlier this month to the Mattoon home of Diedrich and his wife of 60 years, Doris.

"He said, 'I think I have something that goes back to your high school years,'" Dick Diedrich said. "At that point the story with the ring popped into my head."

It seems that back in high school, Diedrich exchanged rings with his then-sweetheart, Doris. He said she took off his ring only "when they were dissecting frogs" in biology class.

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In mid-1948, Doris put the ring on a shelf to wash her hands after biology class, and when she turned around the ring was gone, as was another girl in the washroom.

"She was quite confident it got stolen," Diedrich told The Associated Press.

That's how things stood until Geiger called. He explained to Diedrich that he was using a metal detector at a lake near his home when he discovered the ring and pulled it from the water. "It really was in excellent shape for being so old," said Diedrich.

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Gieger did a little detective work, Diedrich explained. He contacted the school's alumni association and was told that out of the 1949 class of about 1,500 students, there were two graduates with the initials R.D., including Richard "Dick" Deidrich.

Geiger called the other R.D., but he wasn't very friendly, so he called Diedrich, the newspaper reported. Believing he had the right R.D., he mailed Diedrich the ring.

Diedrich said he wanted to send Geiger a reward, "but he said he was just pleased to be able to return it." He sent one anyway, along with a nice letter.

Deidrich has continued to do research to make sure that the ring is, in fact, his. But he said Geiger is convinced the ring is in the hands of the rightful owner.

"'It's your ring' he told me. 'Keep it and enjoy it,'" Diedrich said. "So the bottom line is, I'm now sitting here at 82 years old with my class ring 63 years later."

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Photo: Wisonsin lake (Michael Crowley/Getty Images)

Information from: Mattoon Journal-Gazette, http://www.jg-tc.com

Jul 29, 2013 9:55PM
I found a woman's class ring in my suitcase.  Found it after a road trip and I was unpacking.  I always wondered if the maids went thru my suitcases when I was out of the room.  Well I know have proof that they do.   I thought of finding the owner of it but who even lost it off their finger in my suitcase deserves to have lost it in the first place.  But now I think maybe she had stolen it from someone else.  So maybe one day I will try and track down the owner.  It's from the 1980's.  What would you do?  And how would I find out what school its from?
Jul 29, 2013 8:39PM
SO how did it end up a lake---hmmmm. sounds like the girl he was disecting with disected their relationship and threw the ring into the lake...just sayin...
Jul 29, 2013 8:38PM
Jul 29, 2013 8:33PM
I also found something on the beach with a metal detector, it was a bracelet, had the mans name on it, looked in the local phone book and there was the name, called him up, he said he remembered losing a bracelet on the beach about 20 or so years ago, when I offered to return it to him he said to just keep it, he had already replaced it long ago, I thanked him and now I still have it 15 years later and a good story to go with it.
Jul 29, 2013 8:31PM


Jul 29, 2013 8:29PM
My wedding ring and a ring my mother had given me was stolen in December of last year and the police really did not care they did not even question the shop that face booked poke me saying they had my id and stuff from my purse but the Napa Store in Lake Elsinore did not call and since the computer was stolen too did not get the message for a month later.  but the store cut the cards up and destroyed everything from my past but I would give anything to get that stuff I had in my parse back and to even have a ring again.
Jul 29, 2013 8:09PM
I am 65 age now - many years ago - i was in a high school football field. just walking around -like in 1976>. looked down & picked up a ring-womans grad date was 1948 i believe? tried  to find whose it was by calling & eventually emailing the high school principal & also the secetary there. gave all the info & even the 3 initials inside the girls ring too!. Did this 2 times and never did hear back on that ring!!  I some years later- found it may have belonged to a woman in that class & had moved far away & died =possibly?/ or remarried & under a different name . Had that ring  for over= 30++ years = wanted to get it to that girl that has lost it too. I even wondered how many times that ring had been mowed over by that hs   maintaence  crews?  I finally gave up & scrapped it!! Sadly wanst a mark on it after all that time. Wished i could have gotten it returned!! Sad but true story!!
Jul 29, 2013 8:06PM
yeah, wish i could have my ring back, 1971.
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