Ohio school district reveals contents found inside purse lost by student in 1957

A purse found between lockers at an Ohio middle school offers a glimpse of what life was like in 1957.

Photographs, school schedules, wheat pennies, religious medallions and even a stick of gum were part of the treasures revealed by the girl’s family last fall, and the photos were shared this week by the school district after the family gave permission.

Chas Pyle, a North Canton City Schools custodian, found the purse when he was attaching loose trim between lockers and a wall May 29, 2019, WOIO reported. It belonged to a 15-year-old girl named Patti Rumfola, who graduated from Hoover High School in 1960, the television station reported.

Pyle took the purse to the office, where school officials worked to find the owners. School officials determined the purse was lost in 1957.

Rumfola, who married John G. Michele in 1980, was a longtime schoolteacher in Annapolis, Maryland. She died in Pennsylvania in 2013, according to her obituary in The Punxsutawney Spirit.

Rumfola's five children opened the purse together at a family gathering "to have a glimpse into their mother's life as a teenager at Hoover High School," school officials told WOIO.

Among the artifacts inside the purse were nine wheat pennies, WKYC reported. Other items found included a high school football schedule from 1956, photographs of family and friends, a medallion of the Virgin Mary, a makeup compact, a booster club card, membership cards to the North Canton YMCA, a library card, and even a stick of peppermint Beech-Nut Gum, according to WOIO.

Each one of Rumfola’s children kept a wheat penny to remember their mother, the television station reported.

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