Reunited 40 years later

Robin (Neelan) Sorenson

by April Scheinoha

    Forty years after it went missing, a local class ring has now been returned to its rightful owner.
    Rewind to 1978. Robin Neelan loses her Lincoln High School Class of 1977 ring. “I remember how mad I was when the thing was lost,” she recalled.
    Robin thought she lost the ring somewhere outside of her family’s home along Highway 32. She never found it. Robin moved away, eventually becoming Robin Sorenson and settling in St. Francis.
    From 1986 to 1988, Jeff Van Hecke was attending college in Thief River Falls. He found a class ring, possibly along Pennington Avenue or what is commonly referred to as the airport road. Recently, he opened his toolbox and saw the class ring. He realized the ring was inscribed with the initials RAN.
    Jeff obtained a 1974 LHS yearbook from the Thief River Falls Education Foundation. A 1977 yearbook wasn’t available. However, no one matched the initials found on the ring, which featured a sapphire stone.
    The Prior Lake resident then spoke with Linda Helgeland with whom he had formerly worked at UPS. Her sister-in-law had graduated in 1977. Before long, a photo of the ring was placed on the class’ Facebook page. The post went viral with the classmates and their relatives. “My niece tagged me in the post on Facebook,” Robin said.
    Robin was shocked. She recalled her ring had a sapphire stone. It was her ring.
    On Saturday, Jan. 20, Robin met the Van Heckes. Four decades after it disappeared and with the help of numerous individuals, the ring is back in Robin’s possession. She said, “This is so amazing to me.”