Ring Lost During Cape Cod Honeymoon Returned To Owner 47 Years Later

DENNISPORT (CBS) — Christine Kehl O’Hagan thought the class ring she had given her husband Patrick as a graduation present was lost forever.

“It was on our honeymoon 47 years ago,” Christine told WBZ-TV. “My husband lost his Manhattan College ring swimming in the rough surf at Dennisport at Cape Cod and he felt terrible. I gave him that ring as a graduation present.”

Patrick was swimming in surf while Christine was sunning herself on the beach. As she sat on the beach, she saw Patrick jump out of the water and heard him shout, “I lost the ring.”

Christine said she bought the ring, which was heavy and featured a green stone in the middle, for about $100 while working for the New York Telephone Company.

“I loved how it looked on his big hand,” she said.

ring before cleaning Ring Lost During Cape Cod Honeymoon Returned To Owner 47 Years Later

Patrick O’Hagan’s ring before cleaning. (Photo credit: The O’Hagans)

She says she had thought about replacing the ring, but it just wouldn’t have been the same–but she says she always believed the ring would return.

“I always thought that somehow, that ring would find its way back to us,” she said.

The ring came back, but not the way she thought it would. It started with a series of phone calls from a Californian who travels to Cape Cod every summer with his metal detector.

Jim Wirth was using his metal detector to scan the Dennisport beach in about a foot of water when he found the ring that had been buried for 47 years.

Patrick’s name had been carved in the ring, so Wirth was able to Google Patrick O’Hagan. That led Wirth to Christine, a writer who had published a book called “The Book of Kehls,” a memoir about the impact of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy on Christine’s family.

With says the passage in the book started out, “I fell in love with Patrick O’Hagan, the budding electrical engineer who played a bit of football at Manhattan College.”

He also noticed one of the ring’s features.

“The ring had a big EE on the side for electrical engineering, so I knew this was definitely the guy,” Wirth said.

“I saw his name coming up [in the caller ID] over and over, but he never left a message. I thought it was something more,” she said. “I picked up the phone and he asked, ‘Is this Christine Kehl O’Hagan, the author of “The Book of Kehls?” I said yes.”

ring after cleaning Ring Lost During Cape Cod Honeymoon Returned To Owner 47 Years Later

Patrick O’Hagan’s class ring after cleaning. (Photo credit: The O’Hagans)

She said that Wirth said that if she was the right person, then he had Patrick’s class ring.

Patrick’s name had been carved in the ring, so Wirth was able to Google Patrick O’Hagan. That led Wirth to Christine, a writer who had published a book called “The Book of Kehls,” a memoir about the impact of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy on Christine’s family.

“We got the ring back because of my book,” she said.

“I was blown away. We were shocked. I thought it would come back to us maybe in the surf and not by somebody who is a Californian who will only come to the Cape every summer,” she said.

She was skeptical of what the ring would look like after it had been buried in the sand at a Cape Cod Beach for over 40 years.

ring returned Ring Lost During Cape Cod Honeymoon Returned To Owner 47 Years Later

Patrick and Christine O’Hagan. (Photo credit: The O’Hagans)

He cleaned the ring, sent pictures, and sent the ring to the O’Hagans.

“He did a beautiful job,” she said.

She said she had always believed they would get the ring back by it washing on shore.

“I know it sounds silly, but things happen like that. Notes in bottles. I was a hopeful person. My husband is an electrical engineer and he was saying like, ‘I don’t think so.’ I the dreamer and he’s the realist,” she said. “But it came in the form of this lovely, lovely, man and who is from California … he found the ring and we were just so grateful to him.”

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