FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – For more than 30 years, Greg Grenzenbach thought his class ring from Concordia Lutheran High School was gone forever. It disappeared his junior year in gym class. That was in 1981.
“We were playing a game of shirts and skins and I placed the ring under my shirt. The ring was missing from under the shirt after class and I hadn’t seen it since,” Grenzenbach said.
It was about a year later when George Whittle found it. He owns Fairfield Motors on Fairfield Avenue in Fort Wayne. When he was cleaning up a car new to the lot, he found a class ring in the back seat.
“I buy cars everywhere and I’m not sure where I bought this one,” Whittle said. “I tossed [the ring] in my desk drawer and finished up. I called the school and said I’d like to get it back to the fella.”
The school couldn’t give out student information, but Whittle left his contact information hoping the ring owner would call him. That call never came and the years went by. Whittle redecorated this office a few times and when he got a new desk, the ring went right into the new drawer.
“I must have tried five or six times over the years. I’d toss it in the drawer and forget about it and when things would get slow, I’d get on the computer and look for [1982 Concordia grads] with the initials C.D.C.,” Whittle said. “It was a nice ring.”
Nothing would come up. But last month, Whittle took a closer look at the initials with a magnifying glass.
“I discovered it was G.D.G. not C.D.C.,” he said.
New searches came up with a few suggestions.
“One fellow had the initials of G.G., Greg Grenzenbach. He was in Tennessee, but I thought that can’t be it,” Whittle said.
To the White Pages he went and found a Grenzenbach in Fort Wayne.
“By golly it was his folks. The following day Greg called me and he was quite tickled,” Whittle said. “When he described it perfectly I knew I had the right guy.”
Grenzenbach couldn’t believe it.
“It’s pretty cool. It’s something I hadn’t thought about in years,” he said. “He said he was going to mail it to me and every day I was waiting at work for my mailman to show up. I kept telling myself, ‘You waited this long. Don’t be in a such a hurry now.'”
Finally, the ring came.
“The condition is amazingly good. He’s taken really good care of it,” Grenzenbach said. “I want to let him know how much I appreciate the care he’s given this thing for 30-some years.”
Whittle didn’t know if he’d ever find the owner, but said trying was the right thing to do.
“Nostalgic stuff means something to me. With the price of gold and metal these days, people find things and cash them in. But, that’s not what should be done with it,” he said.