Aug 20 – While many may have thrown it away or just didn’t think about it, when Marni Danielson noticed an old class ring in the dirt outside her new Toledo home, Marni Danielson went to Facebook to find its rightful owner.
Danielson and her family moved from Clatskanie, Oregon to Toledo about a month ago to be closer to relatives in Vader.
“I would be so upset if I lost my class ring,” said Danielson. “I would be devastated. I’m very into family heirlooms and things like that.
So she posted about it on a Toledo Facebook group, and there a staff member at Providence Centralia Hospital suggested it could be the ring of her colleague Dwayne Meeks, who lived in Danielson’s Toledo house when he was in high school visited.
His mother lived in the house until she died 21 years ago. Meeks hadn’t been in the house since.
When contacted about the ring, Meeks’ sister Renee Strasburger arranged for the two to go to their old location to pick it up. When Danielson presented the ring, Strasburger described it as a miracle.
Brother and sister held each other with tears in their eyes.
“He gave up looking for it 43 years ago,” said Strasburger. “He’s had a tough year guys. This is really special to us.”
Meeks’ wife died of COVID-19 this year. And working in the hospital during a pandemic has been extremely challenging, he said, adding, “And it will be back.”
He worked as a substitute teacher at a juvenile detention center and at Yard Birds for 17 years, which he called his favorite job.
“The hospital is my second favorite place. You are all becoming like family, ”said Meeks. “But I’ll retire next week.”
After such turmoil, Meeks said that reuniting with the ring he lost all those years ago felt like a sign that he was going in the right direction.
The stone from the center of the ring fell out of the house in the days after Danielson first recovered it, but that didn’t seem to bother him.
And of course Danielson went back to Facebook to update the many invested commenters from their first post, saying, “We’re so excited and can’t believe we’ve found the owner. It was just hidden in the dirt next to the house and I caught a glimpse of it by chance. So incredible. I’m more than thrilled that they are getting something so wonderful back. “