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High school sweethearts rekindle their relationship 63 years later and get married
The couple spent more than six decades living separate lives - but finally said "I do" in their 80s.
Mary Rose Garra
08.20.21

Do you think it’s possible to fall in love at first sight?

How about is it true that first love never dies?

To be honest, most people remember and cherish their first love. That, according to movies, could be the case.

Unsplash - Ryan Franco
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Unsplash - Ryan Franco

However, we will witness here that what we see in movies can be real.

One Ohio couple is showing that love endures the test of time. Bob Harvey and Annette Callahan married 63 years after they graduated from high school.

It all began at a high school dance in 1956.

YouTube Screenshot - WSLS 10
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YouTube Screenshot - WSLS 10

Bob and Annette, on the other hand, were not each other’s dates.

Annette had transferred from Pikeville, Kentucky to Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge, Virginia. Bob was head over heels in love.

Annette admitted that she was trembling because she didn’t know how to dance, but Bob led the way.

Following that, the two began dating regularly and fell madly in love.

Pixabay - StockSnap
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Pixabay - StockSnap

“When she came into the study hall, and I saw her for the very first time, she was the most beautiful woman — which she still is today — that I have ever seen in my life,” Bob told WBNS-TV.

When Annette was sent to live in Kentucky after high school, the couple went their separate ways.

Annette married John in 1961 and Bob married Diane in 1959.

YouTube Screenshot - WSLS 10
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - WSLS 10

The Callahans were the parents of four children, eleven grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

There were two children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild for the Harveys.

They lived full lives, but in recent years, both became caregivers for their spouses.

John, Annette’s husband, battled dementia for seven years. Diane, Bob’s wife, fought cancer for an even longer time.

Unsplash - Visual Stories || Micheile
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Unsplash - Visual Stories || Micheile

Bob remembered that first dance for the rest of his life.

“This woman who’d been gentle on my mind became an obsessive on my mind,” he said.

Then Bob discovered Annette was a widow, as was he. She’d lost her husband four years earlier.

He sent her a condolence card that read more like a love letter than a consolation.

YouTube Screenshot - WSLS 10
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YouTube Screenshot - WSLS 10

“Dear Annette, life is a journey of sweetness and sorrow, of yesterday’s memories, of hopes for tomorrow,” the card read.

Eight days later, Annette decided to give him a call.

“When I said, ‘Bob, this is Annette,’ he just choked up, and I said, ‘I know it’s surprising that I’m calling you,’ or something, and finally he got his voice and could talk to me,” Annette expressed.

The next day, Bob drove for 12 hours from his home in Virginia to Annette’s Ohio home and delivered flowers to her.

YouTube Screenshot - WSLS 10
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YouTube Screenshot - WSLS 10

“I took her face in my hands. I’ve got to do this for you,” he said. “Like this, I said, ‘I love you, you’re beautiful, and I’m going to kiss you whether you want me to or not.’ And we kissed, and I’m serious on this, 60 years disappeared. Poof.”

They were engaged one month later and they married a few months after that.

Pastor David Redding officiated at the couple’s wedding. In a historic chapel at Central College Presbyterian Church in Westerville – Callahan’s church, they said their “I do’s.”

YouTube Screenshot - WSLS 10
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - WSLS 10

A kiss and, of course, a dance were exchanged to mark the occasion.

It was Annette’s first dance since she and Bob split up all those years ago.

On their wedding day, the two made several references to their former spouses and the signs that they had blessed the new relationship.

YouTube Screenshot - WSLS 10
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - WSLS 10

They also attribute their reunion to a higher power.

Harvey mentioned, “We both feel the Lord is instrumental in getting us back together.”

Watch the video below for this one-of-a-kind romantic story!

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By Mary Rose Garra
hi@sbly.com
Mary Rose Garra is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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