Lost class ring finds its way home to Thomas Dale grad

Ed Bittner was not looking for jewelry at his favorite junkyard last Friday.

Katie Jaschen Metzinger believed her high school ring was gone for good, lost years ago in the sand of Virginia Beach.

What is it they say about expecting the unexpected?

While browsing at the Virginia Beach Pick-n-Pull auto parts lot, Ed Bittner happened upon a 2005 class ring from Thomas Dale High School. He asked his daughter to search online for the ring’s owner. “He is technologically challenged,” says Ginny Bittner. After discovering that Thomas Dale High is part of Chesterfield County Public Schools, she sent an inquiry via the school system’s Facebook page.

The engraving on the inside of the band was not completely legible, but the Bittners could make out “Katie J.” The engraving narrowed the search down to two 2005 graduates of Thomas Dale. After a few phone calls and false leads, school system employees got in touch Monday with Katie Jaschen Metzinger’s mother, Sherry Jaschen, who now lives in Florida. “Katie never told me she lost her ring,” she said.

But, as it turns out, Katie did lose the ring shortly after high school graduation during a beach trip with friends. “I always lose jewelry,” Katie said, “but class rings you’re supposed to keep forever so I didn’t want to tell my mom.

“I’m very excited to get my ring back,” she said. The Bittners “were so thoughtful to take the time and go out of their way to find me.”

In 2008, Katie and John Metzinger married, after knowing each other since fourth grade at Wells Elementary. They still live in Chester and are expecting their first child later this month.

When Katie opened the package last week with her returning ring, she found that the Bittners had also sent along a Pick-n-Pull cap and a gift card (“in honor of the expected new addition to her family,” Ginny Bittner said).

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