Couple Recall Paul Walker's Incredible, Secret Act of Kindness a Decade Ago

Paul Walker's Incredible, Secret Act of Kindness for Engaged Couple
Paul Walker
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

12/05/2013 AT 08:00 AM EST

Almost 10 years later, Kyle and Kristen Upham are still bowled over by Paul Walker's unbelievable generosity – after he changed their lives with a single gesture.

The couple were shopping for an engagement ring in a Santa Barbara, Calif., jewelry store in 2004, when Walker overheard them talking about a gorgeous ring – one they couldn't afford, reports CBS Los Angeles.

Walker bought the $9,000 ring for them, then slipped away without a word.

"It's still to this day the most generous thing anyone has ever done for me," Kristen says today.

They were never 100 percent sure it was Walker, though they had chatted with him in the store. This week, after Walker's tragic death in a car wreck, their suspicions were confirmed after a clerk at the jewelry store spoke up.

"To do something like that to a perfect stranger is just unbelievable," the clerk, Irene King, says.

Kyle Upham was preparing for a second tour in Iraq at the time. "When [Walker] found out Kyle just came back from Iraq – I remember seeing the look in his face," Kristen says. "He kind of transformed."

"When we hand down the ring through the generations, there will always be a story to tell," Kyle says.

Adds Kristen: "His real life speaks volumes of his character. He really did put his money where his mouth is, and did good for this world."

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