BANGOR TWP. (AP) – While adjusting an outdoor Christmas decoration on Dec. 26, a Bangor Township woman found a wedding ring, one lost years earlier by the former owner of her home. The inscription revealed another surprise – the couple’s 42nd anniversary was the following day.

The ring belongs to Luke Stephan, who left the Bay City area with wife Carole in the late 1990s and now lives in Ann Arbor, The Saginaw News reported.

“It wasn’t from anyone in my family. We get a lot of trick-or-treaters, so I thought maybe someone dropped it trick-or-treating,” said ring finder Kathy English.

The only clue was the inscription, “To Luke, with love Carole. 12-27-69.” English talked to a neighbor who knew where Stephan had worked. She eventually got a phone number and dialed the couple.

“I called them up and said, `I’m not a telemarketer. I just wanted to tell you happy anniversary on your anniversary. I think I have something that belongs to you,”‘ English said.

Carole Stephan said the news “completely startled” them. Her husband believed he had lost the ring at a college football game or while gardening.

“I even borrowed a metal detector and went over the whole yard,” Luke Stephan said. “I didn’t search the bushes, though. That would have been a little hard.”

English, noting that Luke Stephan is a Lutheran pastor, said “there was some divine intervention.”

He had given up on finding it.

“I’m astonished. . There was no snow on the ground, which is unusual for Bay City this time of year,” Stephan said.

© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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