Royce and John’s love story is about as remarkable as it gets. How fate brought them together is truly amazing. I will let Royce describe this in her own words:
“It’s never too late to live HAPPILY EVER AFTER! We have made this our motto as we truly believe that our love story reflects the strength and resilience of the human spirit.
We both grew up in Wichita, Kansas in the 60’s. That makes us significantly older than the average bride and groom today. John and I knew each other casually at Wichita State University where he and my husband-to-be were fraternity brothers. Following college, we each married, raised our families, and lived in several communities around the country. In 1989, John and his wife moved to Fort Collins, Colorado and my husband and I moved to Joplin, Missouri. In 2004 and 2007 respectively, John lost his wife of 36 years and I lost my husband of 40 years to cancer. Within a few months I moved to Loveland, Colorado to be closer to my children and grandchildren and find my way as a widow. In the meantime, John was commuting from Fort Collins to Denver for work, retiring in January 2011. We lived just nine miles from each other and didn’t know it. During the summer of 2011, I received an email out of the blue from a fraternity brother of my husband’s, whom I hadn’t seen nor heard from in 50 years. He and his wife were going to be near Loveland on vacation and they wanted to take me to dinner. I was surprised and certainly excited to see them! We had a wonderful evening visiting and reminiscing about our college days. Ron had even brought old yearbooks to jog our memories of friends we hadn’t seen in a very long time. Before they left, Ron reminded me that his best friend since high school, John, was living in Fort Collins and was a widower. He asked if I would mind if he gave John my phone number. Of course, I didn’t mind at all. A few days later John called and we had a pleasant 45-minute conversation. We agreed to get together for a drive up Poudre Canyon and a chance to renew an old friendship. We found we had many things in common. Our children were very close in age as were our grandchildren. I discovered John had a Goldwing motorcycle and agreed to go with him on a ride. This was a new experience for me but I found it to be a great way to see the nearby mountains. At the time, I was in charge of the school district’s spelling bee and a large part of my duties was to create the lists of words for both the elementary and middle school written and oral bees. John became fascinated and agreed to help me with this process. His help was invaluable. Over the next 33 months (we celebrate the anniversary of our first date each and every month) we found our relationship growing almost imperceptibly from a friendship to genuine love. We enjoyed doing so many things together: movies, books, concerts, camping, Bible study, and family get-togethers. Almost a year ago, we decided we wanted to get married and begin our life together. We know that God has had His hand on us all along, even when it didn’t seem like it. Through Him, we met each other and fell in love. Our wedding is a celebration of the joining together of two lives and the bonding of two families. We are truly blessed beyond measure!”
Royce and John had a Fort Collins Senior Center wedding in the garden under a majestic oak tree, with lots of dear friends and family to celebrate with. Their children were their attendants and their grandchildren walked down the aisle before they both walked down together.