In the summer of 1982, between his junior and senior years at Xavier, Dan Hoey and some friends went to Misquamicut Beach in Rhode Island. Just months earlier he had received his class ring.
“I lost the ring in the water,” Hoey said. “I remember the waves were awesome that day. I looked for it for a while, but knowing it was gone for good, and having to tell my dad about losing it put a real damper on the day. It was a long ride home. We got through it, though, and life went on.”
And here we are, just shy of 40 years later, and Hoey, Class of 1983, is reunited with his ring.
Nancy Hedman, who now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, found it recently while she and her husband were cleaning out their attic. Hedman contacted Xavier, and Suzanne Berry, manager of the Advancement office, had her send photos of the ring on Feb. 23. The initials were DJH. The Class was 1983. There was only one name in the yearbook with those initials: Daniel J. Hoey.
Hoey’s contact information was in the database, so Berry reached out to him. Within hours Hedman and Hoey had talked, and the next day the ring was on its way to Connecticut.
“Over the years, I thought about seeing if I could get a replacement; I didn’t even buy a college ring with my history of keeping a class ring for less than a year,” Hoey said.
Hedman was at the beach that day, too.
“I was a nurse at Misquamicut from 1981 to 1983 and ran the first aid station, which was also the lost and found,” Hedman said. “The only thing I can think of is someone found it in the water or the sand and brought it to the first aid station. I don’t remember seeing it or receiving it, but it ended up in the lost and found stuff.”
Hedman figures it made its way into a box when she packed up after her last summer of working at the beach. That box also had her grades from the University of Rhode Island, her college transcript, and bills from back in the day.
“My husband and I decided to clean out the attic, and I said, ‘Wow, whose ring is this?’ So I got on the internet and found out where the school was,” Hedman said.
When we reached out to Hedman on the morning of Feb. 24, she was in her car. She was on her way to the post office with a very special delivery.
Hoey opened the package on a recent Saturday morning.
“It was crazy, just absolutely crazy,” Hoey said. “Forty years ago I’m swimming and my new ring is gone, and 40 years later a new ring comes in the mail … and it brings back a lot of good memories, too.”
By Jeff Otterbein