"It was on the sand in the beach," Bill Haugh said. "She was walking along and found it."
The couple immediately knew it was a class ring, and turned it in to a local lost and found, where it remained unclaimed.
"So they gave it back to us," Bill Haugh said. "She just put it in a box at the house."
The Haughs forgot about it being there until a couple of months ago when Bill Haugh came across it. Curious, he started researching.
He said he had something in his favor that he didn't have in 1977: the Internet.
The ring, with a blue center stone, had Plainview High School's name and the image of a bear mascot inscribed.
An Internet search brought up several Plainview High Schools but only one with a bear mascot: the one in Rainsville. So he called the high school and got the secretary.
When he told her about the ring, the secretary immediately thought about Judy Ayers, Plainview's media specialist, since she has worked there more than 40 years.
Ayers said she has yearbooks from every school year, and Fossett was the only 1965 graduate whose name matched the RSF initials inscribed inside the ring.
"It just so happened my husband, Bill, graduated in that year from this school, and he was one of his best friends," Ayers said. "I got home and asked him who in his class had these initials, and he immediately said, 'Fossett, Ricky Fossett,' " she said. "The thread began to unwind then."
The Ayers' home burned in July and many personal records were lost, so they no longer had a contact number for the Fossetts, Ayers said.
So, Bill Haugh contacted Phyllis Kirk, who was their class president and has numbers for many old classmates, including Rick Fossett's. Kirk called Lola Fossett, stunning and delighting her with the news.