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Tennessee man reunited with the class ring he lost 42 years ago

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Posted at 11:50 AM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 14:37:34-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn. — In what officials at Franklin High School in Tennessee are calling a "miracle," an alumnus has been reunited with a class ring that he lost 42 years ago.

Terry Bruce says he couldn't be more grateful for those who helped return the class ring he lost four decades ago.

The ring slipped from Bruce's finger while throwing a frisbee at Percy Warner Park in Nashville in 1979. On his last throw, the frisbee went one way, and his class ring went the other. He and his friends searched everywhere and eventually gave up.

"Needless to say, we were on our hands and knees the rest of the day until dark trying to find it. No luck at all," Bruce said.

Bruce gave up looking for the ring years ago, but every time he stopped by the same park, he had a feeling it was still out there.

Courtney Eoff, a volunteer with Franklin High School, has had the ring in her home for the last eight years. Her husband found the ring buried seven inches underground while using a metal detector in Percy Warner Park.

Eoff joined Franklin High School as a volunteer for the first time this school year, so she used her resources to track down the alum behind the class ring.

"Last Thursday, came in, pulled a yearbook, got (principal Dr. Shane Pantall) involved, and within 30 minutes, we found the owner," Eoff said.

It turns out only one other person from the graduating class of 1978 had the initials T.A.B., and only one was missing a class ring.

Bruce was able to describe the ring in detail over the phone before visiting the high school and claiming what was rightfully his.

"I described the ring to him. He said, 'Mr. Bruce, I think I have your ring,"' Bruce said.

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Those who found the ring traced the three initials inside to Terry Bruce who couldn’t believe the discovery after 42 years.

The moment Bruce was presented with his ring was captured by FHS Media and later shared on YouTube.

"Even though he had his mask on, you could just totally see it in his eyes that he was so appreciative," Eoff said.

For being buried underground for all these years, Bruce says the ring is still in really good shape. He plans to have the ring cleaned and detailed, so he can continue sharing the story with family — this time, with a much happier ending.

This story was originally published by Levi Ismail on Scripps station WTVF in Nashville.