40-year class ring mystery solved

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 11, 2015


Class rings are among of the most prized possessions of high school students.

Opp High School alum Curtis Donaldson lost his class ring some 40 years ago.

He said he searched for it for several years, but finally gave up hope.

“I looked for it for three or four years,” he said. “I thought I put it in my mother’s jewelry box.”

Fast forward to the present. River Falls resident Sonny Parducci’s son found a ring in a box of junk several years ago.

“That ring had been sitting in my change bowl for several years,” Parducci said. “I kept saying, ‘one day I’m going to find out who that belongs to.’ ”

Parducci recently posted on Facebook buy, swap sell and lost and found groups that he had found an Opp class ring.

“People were calling me, but they would have the wrong year or the wrong initials,” he said. “Holley Brundidge and Tabitha Daniel were like bulldogs. They know a lot of people in Opp. They started investigating it.”

Brundidge’s dad was two years behind Donaldson, so she told him they were looking for someone who graduated in 1967 with the initials CAD.

Eugene Lee was able to determine from looking in the 1697 Opptimist that the class ring either belonged to Curtis Donaldson or Ann Daniels.

The ring was a man’s ring, but was small.

“I was skinny then, and suffered 17 months in a cast on my left arm, the ring size could have easily have been a ladies ring,” he said.

There was even a little confusion as to whether Donaldson was still alive or not.

But Daniel finally tracked him down.

“It was kind of funny, I didn’t know Tabitha,” Donaldson said. “She had sent me a message. I talked to Sonny and it was mine. I couldn’t believe it.”

But the kindness of locals isn’t something that surprised Donaldson, who grew up in the Curtis community between Opp and Elba.

“That’s the kind of things that people from Covington, Coffee and Crenshaw counties do,” he said. “That really means more to me than anything else.”

Brundidge said it was a good feeling that they were able to find him.

“I’m glad we all have good hearts,” she said.

Parducci mailed to ring to Donaldson, who now lives in Williamston, S.C., Thursday afternoon.