Six decades ago, Elizabeth Clark spent the day at Lake Nasworthy, swimming and picnicking along the shoreline with her future husband. Clark failed to realize she had misplaced her beloved 1953 class ring that day.
Clark is the youngest of 16 siblings, the only one to earn a degree. Her daughter, Donna Clark-Love, says the 10-karat gold ring symbolizes a cherished education that took dedication to achieve.
"This meant the world to her. She worked hard for this ring and had no help from any family as she was going through college or paying for the ring, so it was very special to her," Love said.
Just a few months ago, Lake Nasworthy was only at about half-capacity allowing a San Angelo woman to find a Howard Payne University class ring, after it had been lost for 60 years. Coincidentally, the woman who found the ring, Lindsey Waddell, is also a Howard Payne University Yellow Jacket.
"What's unbelievable is that she saw that it said "HPU" on the ring and she graduated from HPU," Love said.
Waddell turned the ring into the Alumni Association where they were able to identify initials inside the band, "AEL", Addie Elizabeth Little.
"Mom cried. She could not believe that they had found her ring. They would like to present it to her which she was just blown away, and that they were going to clean it up and make it beautiful," Love said.
This Fourth of July weekend, Clark will travel to a family reunion in her hometown, Brownfield ,Texas where Waddell and members of the Howard Payne Alumni will return the cherished keepsake.