Unlikely connections reunite '65 class ring with owner

- A pair of retired teachers from Jacksonville's Terry Parker High School helped track down the owner of a class ring missing for more than 40 years.

Jerry LaBruno says he thought his 1965 TPHS class ring was gone forever, but then he received a message from a complete stranger.

In 1970, LaBruno was stationed in Selma, Alabama while serving in the air force. At the time, he and wife Kay rented a historic home. They never could have know the home was owned by a family that would eventually be connected to TPHS in more ways than one.

Fast-forward to present day, the home owner's niece, Celeste Devaney, was given the ring during a family visit. She was given the ring because she taught at Terry Parker HS from 2003 to 2011.

Devaney said she knew her best friend and former coworker, Jennifer Tamol, would jump at the chance to help solve the mystery of the ring's owner.

"I thought it was going to be difficult, but actually it was pretty simple," Tamol said. "I just did a Google search for 'Terry Parker High School Class of '65.'"

Tamol used a site set up for the class of '65's 50th reunion to find a match for the initials engraved inside the ring. Out of a class of nearly 600, LaBruno was the only match she found.

That's when LaBruno got the message he thought would never come. 

"So, weird question from a complete stranger," Jennifer Tamol wrote LaBruno in a Facebook message. "My friend found a TPHS class ring from 1965 with the initials GDL in Selma. Could it be yours?"

"It's just an amazing thing that two retired school teachers from Terry Parker actually came across it," said LaBruno. "What are the chances?"

The reunion with the ring, which LaBruno had sized for then-high school sweetheart and eventual wife, Kay, seemed fitting. After their brief marriage came to an end in the early 70s, the couple lost touch for decades before they were brought together again in 1996. Two years later, they remarried in the same Jacksonville church where they were first wed in 1966.

"Here we are, reunited after 30 years and now I'm reunited with this ring," said Jerry.

"It kind of shows where we started and that makes it pretty special," Kay noted. "And I can't believe it still fits after all these years!"

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