TEAYS VALLEY – A ring is heading home after being lost for 47 years. Some mystery still surrounds the situation of how the ring traveled across the US, but eventually, it has found its way home.
During William Hills’ senior year of 1973, he decided to go swimming in Little Walnut Creek outside of Ashville Ohio, where Hills says he lost the ring. He said he lost the ring in the Y where Turkey Creek runs into it. Hills said that he went looking for the ring several times but never found it, “lost forever.”
Fast Forward to October of 2018 in Northern Hills Rd in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. Billie Jean Fines, while cleaning up a section of Highway for a group called Keep Hochatown Beautiful Association, comes across a class ring in a McDonald’s bag.
Fines say she’s found owners before for items she’s found, but this one has been challenging. She says she almost gave up a few times and put the ring away. Fines say she first started researching High schools with the name “Teays Valley” and found a half a dozen across the country, but she only saw one Teays Valley Vikings in Ashville, Ohio.
She contacted our local school and spoke to administration but had no luck, but Fines says that the mystery of the ring was persistent. This leads her to the company that created the ring, Herff Jones Ring Company. Sadly the ring company said that the records don’t go back to the ’70s, another dead end. Billie said that’s when she started joining private Facebook groups and lost class ring sites with no luck.
Somehow Billie found us here at Sciotopost and asked for me to run a story, and I absolutely agree after realizing how much this meant to her. So between our article here, and help from several members from other groups Vikki Hoover, Angi Hunter Welsh, Jessica Gregg, and Julie Lazzara DeLisio a Communications Director at Teays Valley Local School District, we were able to find the name of William Dean Hill aka Bill or Beef who lives in Lakeland, Florida.
Billie was able to search Hill out and found him in Florida and made the call. She said that she asked him to describe the ring and the size. She said that he described the ring perfectly other than she had posted the ring was size 10 1/2 to 11 and Hill said his ring was a size 12, that he remember it was that size because he had to pay for the larger ring back then. Upset that she may have not actually found the owner, she went to remeasure the ring, and that’s when her husband busted out laughing. He told his wife that he had told her the ring size was smaller, so when the real owner came forward, they would know he was authentic.
Fines say she’s excited to send the ring out to Bill to reunite him with the “lost forever” ring of over 47 years. She says, “I hope you wear it in good health for many years to come, just stay out of the creek with it on.”
Billie Jean Fines is a member of Keep Hochatown Beautiful Association, and she says, “they do good things. She said she’s proud to have found the final destination for her almost two-year mystery. She’s met many friends and had a fun time searching.”