Long lost ring finds its way home

Metal detectorist Paul Anthony of Grand Junction holds a woman’s Sequoia Union High School ring from the class of 1938 that he found buried in a yard on 18th Street near Orchard Avenue Elementary School late last year in this February photo. Anthony was able to return the class ring to a family member of the woman who lost it.

Some sleuthing paid off recently for an Orchard Mesa man.

Paul Anthony, a 71-year-old avid metal detector enthusiast, located an intact 1938 class ring in the backyard of a Grand Junction home about six months ago. He made it his goal to get the ring from Sequoia Union High School in Redwood City, California, back to its owner or the family of its owner.

Anthony, who was featured in a story in The Daily Sentinel in February, photocopied the article and sent it to every newspaper in that area of California.

He got some nibbles. Then one good bite.

A reporter from a small newspaper in California received the story, called and interviewed Anthony and featured the Orchard Mesa man’s plight in that newspaper.

An inscription on the inside of the ring seemed to read B.V.M., and Anthony guessed it was a woman’s ring because of its smaller size. If the woman graduated high school in 1938, she would be roughly 96 years old.

A man in charge of the alumni association at the California high school traced the initials — they were actually D.V.M. — to a Debbie Virginia Moll.

Moll died in 2010, but one of her sons was contacted by the alumni officials and, in turn, contacted Anthony. He sent the ring to the family via certified mail this week.

“I can’t tell you how much joy it brings to my heart to bring back the ring,” he said.

Moll married and had seven children, Anthony said. The family lived in a home in the area of 17th Street and Glenwood Avenue from 1955 to 1957.

A friend and fellow seamstress of Moll lived in the home in the 1700 block of 18th Street where the ring was found. Moll must have lost it in her friend’s backyard where Anthony found it earlier this year, the metal detector sleuth surmised.

“Apparently she was a nice lady, very well loved by all of her children,” Anthony said.

Anthony said Moll’s family members plan to take the ring to their family reunion gathering this year.

“The children were elated,” he said. “They have a topic of conversation.”


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