The ring showed up in the mail, nearly 47 years after her late husband gave it to her.
Her late husband and high school sweetheart Shawn, who died in 2017 after a yearslong battle with cancer, gave it to her before he headed off to college. They were married for 40 years.
McKenna told the Daily News she took it off in a department store while washing her hands in the bathroom, and forgot to put it back on. By the time she returned for the ring, it was already taken. Fortunately, Shawn wasn’t upset at her for losing the ring, she recalled.
She had all but forgotten about the ring until a chance encounter nearly 4,000 miles away in January.
A Finnish sheet metal worker named Marko Saarinen stumbled upon the ring while scouring a forest using a metal detector. He told USA TODAY he spends about 2 hours a week metal detecting, but he’s never been able to return a valuable good to anyone.
“I was very happy that the ring got where it belongs,” Saarinen told USA TODAY.
Saarinen noticed that the ring had Morse High School engraved on it. He took to Facebook, where he reached out to the Morse High class of 1973.
“Hello from Finland!” the message read. “I was metal detecting in (the) deep forest and found this high school ring.”
No one else, reported WGME, had Shawn’s initials – and the class group coordinated with Saarinen to return the ring to McKenna.
The ring got to her earlier this month. When it arrived, she told the Daily News, she cried.
“It’s very touching in this world of negativity, to have decent people step forward and make an effort,” McKenna told the Daily News. “There are good people in the world, and we need more of them.”
How, exactly, the ring made its way to the Nordic country remains unclear. McKenna noted that Shawn did travel to Finland once for a work trip, but it was nowhere near where Saarinen found the ring.
Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow Joshua Bote on Twitter: @joshua_bote