Celebs

Paul Walker remembered for diamond ring gift to Iraq war vet, wife

Dec. 5, 2013 at 8:47 AM ET

Many fans will remember the late actor Paul Walker for his "Fast & Furious" films, but one Iraq war veteran and his wife recall him for a different reason: The actor purchased a diamond ring for the couple.

Kyle and Kristen Upham didn't know Walker personally; they just happened to run into him while shopping for a ring in a Bailey Banks & Biddle store in Santa Barbara 10 years ago and struck up a conversation.

"You could tell he had a demeanor about him; it was almost like anybody he probably would meet would become his best friend," Kristen said in a report by Jason Kennedy on TODAY Thursday.

The pair had wed before Kyle was deployed, but once he returned from overseas he said he wanted to get his bride a proper ring.

During their store visit the couple found the perfect ring in that store, but at $9,000, it was beyond their budget. So they left. 

Not long after, they got a call from the store clerk. "(She was) saying, 'Here's your ring, it was bought and paid for it in full.' Just utter amazement, and sheer gratitude," said Kristen. 

The Uphams had their suspicions that the anonymous benefactor was Walker, but they weren't sure it was him until Walker died recently. Then, amid the coverage of his death, one of the store salespeople came forward and told the story.

"He just did a wonderful and generous thing," said Kristen.

The initial autopsy report on Walker said that he died of the "combined effects of traumatic and thermal injuries," or burns, after a 2005 Porsche he was riding in crashed Nov. 30.


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