1973 Class Ring
Terry (Nichols) Bautch
Class Ring 1973

Return of Lost Ring

43 Years Later

Class of 1973 Ring

By Aileen Carney Sweeney
August 2015



A Ring is Found in 2012

A couple found an Ilion Class of 1973 ring while surveying and photographing dragonflies and damselflies for the NY Natural Heritage Program. The couple contacted me, using the alumni web form, on Sept. 11, 2012 with information about the ring.

"My husband and I were on the Deer River, Lewis County a few weeks ago looking for dragonflies (for NYS DEC). I found an Ilion High School class ring and would like to get it back to the owner. Info on ring: 1973... light blue stone... initials inside the band are in script and appear to be T A N or J A N. Any help would be appreciated"

I looked through all the senior portraits in the 1973 yearbook and did not find anyone with the corresponding initials. I posted information about the ring on the Class of 1973 page. I also posted the same information on the Traditions - Class Rings page.

"An Ilion 1973 Class Ring was found at Deer River, Lewis County. If you think it is yours, contact Aileen Carney Sweeney with the details and I will put you in touch with the person who found the ring. The "finder" would like to return the ring to the person who lost it." (October 5, 2012)

The posting remained on the alumni site for over two years. Finally, in June 2015 the post elicited a response.


Terry Nichols Lost Her Ring in 1972

Terry (Nichols) Bautch, who lives in Fort Meyers, Florida, sent a private Facebook message to classmates of hers on June 16, 2015. Terry wrote that she saw the Ilion Alumni site's Class of 1973 page and needed to contact Aileen Carney Sweeney. Twin sisters, Linda and Laura Prentice, then forwarded the message to me.

"Hi Aileen, my name was Terry Nichols. I read on The Class of 1973 page that someone found a class ring at Deer River. I lost mine there in the summer of 1972. Could you please help me to see if it was mine? I would really love it back." - via Facebook from Terry (Nichols) Bautch June 17, 2015

The only contact information available, about the finder of the ring, was an email address. Using the email information and the name of the finder [note - the finder has chosen to remain anonymous], I was able to use google to find more contact information.

Terry Nichols 1972 Yearbook
Terry Nichols Junior Class Photograph
Source 1972 Yearbook

On June 17, 2015, I sent Terry (Nichols) Bautch the postal address of the couple who found the ring. Terry wrote them about the ring and gave them her phone number.

One week later, Terry contacted me. "Hi Aileen. Some really good news. You can take down the post about the lost class ring." Terry reported that the finder called her that day and that the finder was mailing it out Friday. Terry had said she had a nice conversation with a very nice lady who found the ring "...right where I lost it".


1973 Class Ring
Photographs of returned 1973 Ring
Courtesy of Terry (Nichols) Bautch

How Terry Lost the Ring

The Nichols children grew up in the house on the west corner of Second Street and South Fifth Avenue. After their mother died, Terry and her siblings were raised by their grandmother.

Terry received her Class of 1973 ring, in her junior year of school, about two months before school ended.

On the last day of school, Terry went to Carthage to camp with a friend at King Falls. It was raining and cold. They were climbing down to the falls. Terry went to grab a small tree and because her hand was wet, her ring fell off. They looked for the ring for hours and searched, again, the next day. They could not find the ring.

Terry left school two weeks into her senior year, which explains why her picture did not appear in the senior section of the 1973 yearbook. She met her husband, who was from Carthage, and they were married. They became parents of a son in August of 1973.

Does the ring still fit? "Yes, the ring fits on my wedding ring finger but not the right one."


Help in Returning Rings

Do you have a class ring you want to return?

1958 Buckminster's Jewelry Story

Do you have a former boyfriend's class ring? Has it been sitting in your jewelry box for many years? Would you like to return the ring? Have you found an Ilion High School ring?

You can send details regarding the ring by using this Contact Form. I can post information on your class page, if you prefer, and/or I can send you any information I may have about the original ring's owner.

1966 Class Ring
Photograph of 1966 Ring
Courtesy of Leigh Potter


The Observer Dispatch and The Herkimer Evening Telegram

A nice story about the kindness of strangers (and the power of technology) ...

Posted by Observer-Dispatch on Monday, July 20, 2015

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August 2, 2015

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