STURGEON BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — A ring believed to have been donated to a Sturgeon Bay resale shop accidentally has been returned to its rightful owner.
“It’s so strange, the way that it all unfolded,” Denise Chenevert of Sturgeon Bay said, “that we dropped it off and that they found it.”
The ring was unrecognizable when Sunshine House employee Nancy McClellan pulled it from a pile meant to be taken to the dumpster.
“This ring was black when they found it, and they cleaned it up,” Chenevert said. “So I imagine I just looked at it and thought it was junk.”
Sorters at Sunshine House also initially passed over the ring.
“The chances of Nancy actually going in the box, finding the ring literally hours before it was destined for the dumpster, we feel it was meant to be,” Jeremy Paszczak, Director of Sales & Marketing for Sunshine House said.
When the resale shop put out the call for recent donors with links to a WWII Veteran, Chenevert thought of her father, Wilson Chenevert, who served from 1943 to 1945.
He passed away in 2000 and had never mentioned a ring signifying his service.
“He was like a lot of World Wart II vets,” Chenevert said. “They don’t talk a lot about it, they don’t make a big deal out of it, and so I don’t remember him having it.”
Details of her father’s service matched the ring.
“The Ruptured Duck was awarded to individuals in the service that were honorably discharged,” Paszczak explained.
The timing of the donation and other items found in the jewelry box confirmed that this was Wilson Chenevert’s ring.
“It made me go back and dig into some of the things that we had that I hadn’t thought about for a while,” Chenevert said.
For that, she’s thankful to Sunshine House.
“I thought it was really special that they took the time to identify it, clean it up, and then try to find the owner,” she said.
According to Paszczak, this was the best possible outcome.
“It brings a piece of history back to a family that is well deserved,” he said/
It’s a piece of history that Chenevert is happy to have.
“I think it was really special, the way that it all came together,” she said. “Seems like it was meant to be.”
Chenevert added that she will discuss plans for the ring with the rest of her family.