Young romance rekindled after 74 years apart

A couple dated 74 years ago, but the spark wasn't quite there yet. After having lost their spouses, the two met again and are now happily married.

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - As a great-grandmother, Katie Smith has plenty of love to give.

"Eli, come give Maw Maw a kiss," the 89-year-old tells her great-grandson.

The love just didn't reach Ed Sellers back in the 1940s. "We dated for three years and I wouldn't let him kiss me," says Smith.

She and Ed Sellers, "went steady," as teenagers growing up in Kannapolis, but lost contact for more than 70 years.

"I met a wonderful man who was a minister. We lived together 54 years," Smith says of her late husband, who died 17 years ago. "And [Ed] was with his wife sixty-seven [years]."

Sellers' wife died four years ago from Alzheimer's disease. A couple of years later, he worked up the courage to look up his old girlfriend, Katie Smith, in the phone book.

"Kind of weird," says the hilarious great-grandma.

Sellers drove from his home in Kannapolis to Stanley, where Katie lived. And despite failed attempts, his persistence paid off.

They soon started dating, going to church every Sunday and Wednesday.

The God-fearing couple says their faith has everything to do with their fate.

"Somehow, God put me and Katie back together," said the 88-year-old, Sellers.

Remember how Ed waited three years for a kiss as a teenager? Not for round two of the relationship.

"The first time I came over," he laughs. "Well," responds a shy Smith.

"I never gave her a choice," said Ed.

"He's so tender-hearted," replies Smith. The senior-citizens could gush on and on about each other but the topic is changed to wedding bells.

Ed might be 88-years-old, but he did manage to bend down on one [bad] knee to propose.

"He gave me a ring," exclaimed Smith.

The couple wed this past Sunday, in front of two hundred family and friends at the Community Pentecostal Church in Stanley; Smith's daughter and son-in-law marrying the couple.

"We took our vows sitting in a rocking chair and my son-in-law, who is the pastor down there, says this is the first rocking chair wedding he had ever had," said Smith.

Ed is on his way to 89, and Katie will be 90 in December. But these older folks are excited about their new life.

"We don't know how much time we got, might be one week or year," said the bride.

"Another hundred years I hope," responded the groom.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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