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Old Class Rings Finding Their Way Home

PLYMOUTH — Rings are often given to a loved one as a symbol of eternity. Now, we have a story about two rings that were returned 60 years after they were originally exchanged.

This is the story of one man, two women and two rings.

The man’s name was Bill Coughlin from Plymouth. He dated two girls from Plymouth back in the 1940s and 50s.

Class rings were exchanged. Neither of the relationships lasted but now, some sixty years later, rings are being exchanged once again.

This story of lost love and found rings begins with Eileen Kohl and her husband Chris from Shavertown.

Before Chris’s mother passed away, she told Eileen about an old high school ring she had from an ex-boyfriend in Plymouth. That boyfriend was Bill Coughlin.

“They had broken up somewhere in the early 50s, and she threw the ring at him. He drove away, drove over it and crushed it,” said Kohl.

After her mother-in-law passed away, Eileen got the ring repaired. She then spent the past 10 years trying to track down Bill Coughlin so she could return the ring.

Eileen learned that Coughlin passed away in 1981. But through ancestry.com and Facebook, she found his family in central New Jersey.

“I lost my father when I was young, and I don’t have much of anything from him. And I knew that this ring belonged with its family,” she said.

Last week, on a detour from a business trip,  Eileen and her husband returned the ring to the Coughlins.

The exchange encouraged Coughlin’s son Bill, Jr. to pay it forward. He looked through his dad’s personal items and found a ring that belonged to another woman.

Lois Zawacki lives in West Wyoming.  She also dated Bill Coughlin back in the 50s.   She says Coughlin’s son has put the ring in the mail.

“He had my 1953 class ring from Plymouth High School,” she said. “I can’t wait to see what it looks like. I don’t remember. It’s just that 60 years is a long time. I’ll be happy to see it, show my grandkids.”

Lois says she’s been checking her mailbox every day to see if the ring’s arrived.


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