AUGUSTA — When her headlights were reflected by five shiny beams early Tuesday morning on Fairbanks Street, Donna Keeler stopped to investigate.

“It was five diamonds, five white stone diamonds,” Keeler said Thursday morning, describing the platinum and diamond ring. “It was beautiful.”

The Kennebec Journal carrier and her husband, James, were out early, as usual, delivering newspapers on her two routes on the west side of Augusta.

“We said this thing weighs too much, No. 1; and No. 2, the stones were really pretty,” she said.

They decided to take it home to try to see the sentiment etched on the inside of the band, which turned out to be “I love you more.”

“My husband and I used to say, ‘I love you,’ and ‘I love you more,'” she said.

Recognizing its importance and value, Keeler decided to leave notes at the two residences on that street, asking them to contact her if they lost something.

The call from David Sorensen, a senior policy advisor in Gov. Paul LePage’s office, came Wednesday morning. He told her the ring, which once belonged to his grandmother and now belongs to his wife, had been missing for weeks. It had been loose and must have fallen off outside. The couple even had searched for it with a metal detector, which Keeler recalled seeing on his porch.

Keeler put the ring into his hands 20 minutes later.

“We’re very grateful to Donna and encouraged to see such good deeds still happen in the world,” Sorensen said on Thursday via email. “We will be sure to pay it forward!”

Keeler delivers the Wall Street Journal to him, and Sorensen sent a complimentary note about Keeler to that newspaper. Kennebec Journal carriers deliver a number of other publications as well as the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel.

Keeler, who has been a KJ carrier for a total of 24 years, has done good turns previously, including calling police shortly before Christmas when she found Augusta Mayor David Rollins’ house door open and no one home, and prior to that helping police halt a robber.

She sees a lot on her rounds. She said she gets up at 12:30 to 12:45 a.m. and finishes the routes around 5:30 a.m.

Keeler, 53, of Readfield, loves her job.

“My customers are like family to me,” she said. “I’ll be out there with a cane and wheelchair.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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