Portland couple celebrates return of wedding ring lost 46 years ago

**Embargo: Portland, Ore.** There is a happy ending to a local mystery that dates back 46 years now that a wedding ring discovered buried under asphalt is back on the finger of the man who lost it decades ago.

PORTLAND, Ore. — There is a happy ending to a local mystery that dates back 46 years now that a wedding ring discovered buried under asphalt is back on the finger of the man who lost it decades ago.

Dean and Jan Anderson have seen a lot in their 50 years as man and wife, but they never thought they’d see Dean’s wedding band again.

The ring had been missing since 1971 when they went to a friend’s place for a backyard barbecue and touch football game.

“The ring was kind of loose on my hand, always, and I went up to catch a football and it flew off my hand into the grass,” he recalled. “We looked for it, looked for it and looked for it. Never could find it.”

Jan and Dean eventually gave up and figured the ring was lost forever.

“For years, I didn’t wear any ring at all. She knew I was hers,” Dean said. “I didn’t need a mark.”

Recently, though, some 46 years later, a matrimonial miracle happened at Hazeldale Park. A construction crew found the ring while digging up a sidewalk, originally built in 1982.

“It was encapsulated underneath the asphalt for all these years,” Jerry Burgess with Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec

Last week, Tualatin Parks and Rec spread the word about the find with blog post, and thanks to some engraved initials and an engraved wedding date, the ring found its way home, to the amazement of the Andersons

“We had just forgotten all about it, and I had asked our children, ‘Do you remember us telling you that we had lost our ring?’” Jan said. “And, no, they didn’t remember the story at all. So, they think it’s very exciting.”

“I don’t know how it got to a park,” Dean added. “Maybe somebody else had the pleasure of wearing it for a while.”

While there are still a lot of questions, the Andersons are content knowing the ring is finally where it belongs,

The Andersons said it’s possible the barbecue they attended back in 1971 was at a home right next to the park but added that they can’t remember the exact location.

That confusion makes sense considering how long it’s been since the ring was lost, and the fact the park didn’t even exist at the time.

However it happened, Jan and Dean are thrilled to have the ring back after all these years.