It was a call that came out of nowhere, but it is not one Burke Schultz is likely to forget any time soon.
“They asked me, ‘Did you happen to lose your class ring?’” Schultz said of the recent telephone call he got from the Perham High School office. “I said, ‘Yes… in 1953.’”
Schultz, a 1948 PHS graduate, was at Fort Benning, Ga., for a communications course while he was in the Army Reserves when he lost the ring.
Sixty-one years later, the ring still fits and “looks just about new,” Schultz said with a grin.
On the other side of the country, Judy Whitehead had been working on solving the mystery of the ring from the other end.
Her father-in-law worked for the city of Columbus, Ga. in the 50s and found the ring. When he passed away, the ring was passed down to Whitehead’s husband.
Eventually, Whitehead decided to try to find the ring’s owner with her granddaughter’s help.
“I wasn’t even sure if the school would still exist,” Whitehead said in an interview with the Focus.
They used a magnifying class to read the school’s name and found the initials BBS engraved inside the band.
As it turns out, there is only one Perham High School in the United States.
Whitehead called the school’s office and told them about the ring.
“They told me that they would look in the archives to find whose ring it might be,” she said.
Coincidentally, Schultz was the only one from his graduating class whose initials matched the ring’s inscription.
About an hour after Whitehead had called the school, Schultz was making a call to Columbus.
“He said ‘I hear you might have something of mine,’” Whitehead recalled. “I just thought it was neat, because I wasn’t even sure if he’d still be around… but, I just thought he would like to have it back.”
“He’s been kind of like a kid in a candy store,” said Joann, Burke’s wife.
Since that phone call, Schultz’s ring made its way home through the mail and is back where it belongs: on his finger.
Burke Schultz, a 1948 Perham High School graduate, lost his class ring in 1953 while at Fort Benning, Ga. More than 60 years later, it has been returned to him.