Northrop grad gets class ring back after 31 years

Phyllis Wiegmann lost her Northrop class ring in Michigan 31 years ago. This week she got it back.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) –  Phyllis Wiegmann lost her Northrop class ring a state and hundreds of miles away. She paid more than $70 of her own money for it in 1976, so it meant a lot to her. One woman carrying on her grandmother and mother’s legacy got the ring back to her.

As an underclass man, Wiegmann, Northrop class of ’79, used the money she earned at after school jobs to buy her class ring. She designed something special.

“It has Northrop High School around the circle,” Wiegmann said as she described the ring. “Hidden underneath the stone is the the bear head which makes it unique. I was really involved with the band so the side has the music band logo on it.”

As a music and theater lover every summer Wiegmann went to Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. It was the same routine in the summer of ’85.

“When I would go into the scenery shop to build things I would take it off and put it in my pocket,” Wiegmann said.

That was the last Wiegmann saw or heard of the ring.

“I figured I’d never see my ring again,” Wiegmann said.

That is until she got an email from the Northrop High School secretary last month.

“[The secretary] gave me the name of Monica,” Wiegmann said. “It just clicked with me when it was a Traverse City phone number.”

“My grandmother used to do a bunch of metal detecting,” Monica Crain said. “She has a bunch of trinkets she kept over the years that she intended to get back to the people as she found them.”

Crain’s family lives near where Wiegmann last saw her ring. After Crain’s grandmother and mother passed away she started trying to get her grandmother’s findings back to their owners, beginning with Wiegmann. She contacted Northrop High School. Officials there did some digging, and this week Wiegmann got her ring back.

First thing she did was send a picture to Crain.

“When Phyllis sent me the picture I just started crying,” Crain said. “I was so happy she got it back.”

“It just reinforced for me that there are good people who will go that extra step,” Wiegmann said.

The ring does still fit. Wiegmann’s ring was the first of her grandmother’s trinkets Crain was able to find the owner. But she’s getting ready to return a second ring to its original owner.