Long lost ring finds home

Oct 21, 2004

Michael Ecarius from the Kettering/GMI class of 1966 figured that his class ring was lost forever when he lost it 20 years ago playing tennis. A little curiosity and a lot of digging on the part of two strangers changed all that.

For more than 20 years after misplacing his ring in Chicago, he wondered numerous times about its whereabouts. But all that changed in October at Kettering.

Ecarius initially lost the ring sometime in the mid 1980s. "I worked for Chicago Rawhide as vice president of quality and my wife and I moved to Batavia, Ill., where we made many friends," he recalled. "I first remember missing my GMI class ring while living in this area. Although I am not sure, I think I lost the ring while playing tennis with a new friend in Geneva, Ill.," he added. Eventually, Ecarius left Chicago and his lost ring, rejoining GM at the Warren, Mich., tech center and retiring in 1999 after 32 years of service with the company.

After Ecarius moved, John Kloos, a resident of St. Charles, Ill., found Ecarius' ring while working at a construction job. One day years later Kloos mentioned finding the ring to his neighbor, Renee Alborn, who is also a genealogist. Alborn decided to find out who might have owned the ring and thus conducted research online by locating GMI and its connection to Kettering University. She then called Kettering's Office of Alumni Affairs and informed the staff about the ring. Alumni Affair staff members went to work to identify the name engraved on the ring. In addition, Kettering's Alumni Affairs Office cleaned the ring and had the stone sanded to remove a small crack. Eventually, staff tracked down Ecarius, who came to campus in October for a special lunch with the Alumni Affairs staff, Kloos and Alborn. During this luncheon, Ecarius once again received his ring and thanked Kloos and Alborn for their kind help.

Written by Gary J. Erwin
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