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Long lost purse brings community, family together

Posted at 6:15 PM, Feb 20, 2020

NORTH CANTON, Ohio — It was the last day of school before summer vacation.

"Everybody’s rambunctious and running around," said Chas Pyle.

Pyle, the head custodian at North Canton Middle School, got a maintenance call to fix a broken locker and what he found inside shocked him.

"I reached down and pulled it out and I’m like, well this is somebody’s purse and its been here a long time," said Pyle.

After Pyle and school principal David Eby wiped off several inches of dust from the bag, they started digging through it and we’re taken on a journey back in time.

"This is a pretty neat find, its like a little time capsule," said Eby.

They found membership cards to the YMCA, football game ticket stubs and even school pictures with messages from friends.

All of the contents all dated back to the 1950s.

The district quickly put out a call on social media to track down the purses owner.

"The community has been amazing and how they’ve rallied around this whole project," said Eby.

It didn’t take long for former classmates to solve the mystery of the lost bag.

It belonged to 1960 Hoover High School graduate Patti Rumfola.

Unfortunately, she passed away in 2013 at 71-years-old, but the community didn’t stop there.

They helped the district track down Rumfola’s five children who all live in Maryland.

"It’s bringing joy to people and she would be so excited about all of this," said Rumfola's daughter, Charlotte Baron.

Baron says all of her brothers and sisters were beyond ecstatic to get a peek into what their mom was like as a teenager.

"It had literally something from every something from almost every aspect of her life, her family, her faith, her school," she said.

Baron says these gifts are blessings from heaven and they make her miss her mom even more.

"She lived very good life, and she had a lot of family that loved her and that miss her and still love her," said Baron.

The memories and Rumfola's legacy will live on, very close to where they were all made.

Her children have decided to give the purse back to the district so her purse and most of its contents can be displayed in a case in the entrance to the middle school.