New York Class Ring Lost in 1975 Finally Found and Returned to Owner
All is not always lost. A class ring from 1975 was found in New York and returned to the rightful owner.
Dan Milovich is a Buffalo Fire Department lieutenant who spends his free time metal detecting after his doctor recommended he start walking for exercise. Milovich has unearthed many treasures including a 1975 ring from Nichols School.
Wanting to find the owner, Milovich turned to social media. But his search came up empty. Just when he thought the ring would be added to his treasure hunting collection, Milovich ran into Therese Forton-Barnes on one of his walks. She runs a dating service in Western New York. "At Matchmaking 2 Tee we have a service we use for background checks and it came in handy," said Forton-Barnes, who was able to track down a phone number.
The owner of the ring, who wanted to remain anonymous, only had it for two or three weeks before losing it. He now lives in Colorado but is happy it was finally found. "He is so so excited about having this bring back in a piece of his history, Forton-Barnes told WGRZ.
What's even crazier than finding a ring from 1975 AND finding the owner is, the guy was dating a girl that lived in the house Forton-Barnes now owns. "I was happy to be a part of this story," she said. "I love solving mysteries and I probably should’ve been a detective."
Woman Returns Lost Class Ring After 63 Years
This isn't the first class ring to be found and returned to its owner in Buffalo.
Mary Jo Orzeck, of Brockport, New York, was cleaning out her parent's home when she found a Lackawanna High School class ring from 1955, bearing the initials ELD.
Rather than toss it aside and forget about it, like most people would, or take it to a pawn shop, Mary Jo began to look for the rightful owner. She started her search at the library. However, it was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Mary Jo found the Lackawanna High School librarian, Susan Palumbo, and together they went through the 1955 yearbook to see if they could discover any student with the initials ELD. That's when they found Eugene Darmstadter.
Eugene, who is in his 80s, still lives in Lackawanna. He tells WGRZ, he thought he lost the ring at a softball game in 1958 and has no idea how it ended up at Mary Jo's house.
In the 1950s, Eugene was a Lackawanna firefighter at a station house near a tavern owned by Mary Jo's father and uncles, according to WGRZ. It was a popular place for firefighters to unwind after a busy shift.
Talk about a small world.
Mary Jo met Eugene and his family outside the Lackawanna high school to return the ring after so many years. "I graduated again," Darmstadter joked after putting it back on his finger. And it still fit!