BROWNWOOD, Texas - After 60 years Addie Elizabeth Clark was reunited with her class ring. The ring was from the class of 1953 – and she had lost it when she went swimming with her then future husband at Lake Nasworthy near San Angelo.
The ring was found by a Lindsay Waddell while she was walking her dogs near the shore of the lake. She cleaned it off a bit and learned that it was from Howard Payne University and had the initials A.E.L.
When she contacted HPU officials, they found out it belonged to the only graduate from that year with those initials, Addie Elizabeth Little.
Clark was in tears when she was told it was found. She was one of 16 children and the only one to attend and graduate college. While she was encouraged to stay home and work, Clark decided to attend HPU. She worked two jobs to pay for everything herself, including that ring.
"She worked hard to pay for it," said Donna Clark-Love, Clark's daughter. "It was a symbol of a big achievement in her life, so it was more than just a ring."
Clark was extremely involved in the school.
Stephen Sullivan, the school's director of alumni relations, said it was easy to find her in the year book because she was everywhere. She was president of the Women's Recreation Club, vice president of the Dinning Hall and a part of the yearbook staff.
"She was so excited to have her ring back that she had said that it felt like she was missing a part of her for 60 years," Sullivan said.
Sullivan and Waddell traveled to Clark's family reunion to return the ring to her.
"I hear that she's wearing it non-stop and won't take it off, so she's really proud of it," Clark-Love said.