By Ken MacLeod

CANTON (CBS) – Barbara Kerr is gushing these days over her Bridgewater State class ring, lost more than 40 years ago.

It vanished soon after her 1971 graduation and she figured it was gone forever. Enter Bill Perry the now retired Marine who lived on the South Shore back then when he found the ring under the backseat of a green Chevy Nova he bought.

“I think he’s pretty darn special,” Kerr said of Perry.

Perry stuck it in a box but pledged to one day find its rightful owner.

“Actually I gave up on it and the ring got put away and lost in my possessions,” Perry said.

Bridgewater State class ring from 1971 (WBZ-TV)

Bridgewater State class ring from 1971 (WBZ-TV)

Perry lives in South Carolina now where he rediscovered the ring in a drawer last month. And when he got nowhere with Bridgewater State, he turned to Facebook.

“You know I’m not usually a fan of Mr. Zuckerberg but I really, really appreciate what he did for me,” Kerr said smiling.

Of course it was actually Facebook users on the South Shore who quickly traced the initials inside the ring to the 1971 Bridgewater yearbook — and bingo.

“My cell phone started to go ding, ding, ding,” Kerr explained. “After 42 years it took about two and a half hours.”

The size five ring doesn’t fit the same finger anymore, but the method of return has made it everyday jewelry.

“It made my day,” Perry said.

“There are very few people left in the world like that,” Kerr said. “Thank you Bill Perry.”

She may never know how it got into that old Chevy but that’s OK.


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