PARIS — This story began about 27 years ago when a former Raymond resident was driving with her husband down a back road in Windham and came across a storage unit sale.

They stopped to take a look.

“I brought a lot of stuff,” Patricia Dignard, now a New Hampshire resident, said of the merchandise she brought that day, including a box. Inside was a small silver ring with an embedded green stone and the initials KLS. It was a Class of 1987 Oxford Hills High School ring.

“I put it aside, but a year later I dragged it out and said, ‘I really need to find out who this belongs to.’”

She called Oxford Hills High School in Paris but no one could help her.

Many years went by.

Then one day, about  10 years ago, she packed up her jewelry box, which happened to contain the OHHS class ring, to head to Florida for a stay.

But while Dignard was in Florida, a sheriff from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s office called to tell her that her house on Sebago Lake in Raymond had been burglarized, along with several others.

Ironically, her own Class of 1951 high school class ring from Merrimac High School in Massachusetts, had been stolen along with other items.

“I never saw it again,” she said.

Although she lost her own ring, the 1987 Oxford Hills High School ring was not taken by the burglar because Dignard had taken it to Florida with her in her jewelry box.

Years  went by again before she decided to resume her search. This time, Facebook was a popular form of communication and that’s when things began to fall into place when she asked Facebook users for help.

She got a message from one girl who suggested she call the high school. She did and again, no one could help her. Someone else said she had a 1987 yearbook, but then failed to get back to Dignard when she asked the yearbook owner to try to find a name that matched the initials KLS.

Finally, she hit the jackpot with a man named Richie who messaged her that he recognized the initials. They belonged to a girl named Karen L. Sargent.

For a moment Dignard thought, “Maybe she’s not even alive. It’s been a long time.”

Then she found a Karen Sargent on Facebook living in Casco and messaged her. Sargent messaged her back. She was the owner of the long-lost ring and was very excited to know her ring might be returned.

As luck would have it, Dignard was heading to Oxford Casino only two days later and planned to drop her husband off to visit a friend on Sebago Lake before driving up Route 11 to Route 26 to get to the casino. She would be driving right past Sargent’s house.

“I didn’t even have to go out of my way,” Dignard said of the pitstop at Sargent’s house.

Although Sargent could not be reached for comment, Dignard said it was a happy reunion of the ring and its owner.

“She was so excited.”

Good karma ensued for Dignard. Following their meeting, Dignard went on to the casino and won $700.

“I’m so glad. That’s what I had wished for all these years,” Dignard said of the ring’s return.

Now if anyone has seen a Class of 1951 Merrimac High School class ring with the name of the school on top in gold and the initials PAD (but no stone),  Patricia Dignard wants to hear from you.

[email protected]


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