Mystery of the FSHS class ring solved

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

There's no more mystery surrounding how a Fort Scott high school class ring got into the possession of a Missouri man who initially said his family had no connection to Fort Scott.

Mike Krasovec, of Lake Tapawingo, Mo., found the 1950 ring last year when sifting through his mother's belongings after she died.

He called The Fort Scott Tribune in December to help him try and locate the owner or a relative. He had no use for the woman's size five ring.

Juanita Schroder, of Fort Scott, read the article published on Dec. 28 and decided to investigate. She graduated the same year and still wears her class ring, so finding the owner or a relative was her mission.

The investigation found that the ring belonged to Erma Irene Lowe. Her initials were engraved on the inside of the ring.

Schroder tracked down Lowe's sister, who turned out to be Tribune correspondent Beverly Geiger, of Uniontown.

Lowe never graduated from high school. Instead, she quit her junior year to marry Robert Janes. However, she received a class ring because they handed out class rings during students' junior year.

Lowe died in 1953 after giving birth to a son, Rocky, who currently lives in Florida.

But the mystery was how Krasovec's mother came into possession of the ring.

That mystery was solved after Geiger and Krasovec talked Jan. 22. Geiger said in a letter to The Fort Scott Tribune that Krasovec's mother was married to Robert Janes.

Krasovec thought his name was James instead of Janes and that's why he initially didn't think there was a connection.

"I spelled the name Janes over the phone two or three times, and he was really surprised when I convinced him that the name was Janes," Geiger said in the letter.

Geiger sent him a photo of Janes and Erma so he could put a face with the name. Sure enough, it was the same man.

When Krasovec's mother divorced Janes, she moved to Missouri to live closer to her son. Among the belongings she took with her was Lowe's class ring.

"The story has now gone full circle," Geiger said.