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Love Finds Couple Late in Life

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Octogenarians to wed

Emily knew who Bob was. After all, he was her boss at the convenience store where she volunteers. Bob runs the small shop at Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community, where residents and staff find needed essentials without having to leave the safe, familiar campus.

Their paths crossed this past Thanksgiving when Emily volunteered to take Bob’s hours over the holidays so he could travel to St. Louis and meet his great grandson who was born just a month before. Bob’s grateful family even made it a point to meet Emily on their next visit to their dad in Raleigh, taking them out to dinner. Still no sparks.

Now fast forward to February 14, 2012. Emily becomes quite the celebrity when the local paper covers the staff and residents of Springmoor packaging over 50,000 meals to send across the globe for Raleigh-based charity Stop Hunger Now. Emily’s chipper demeanor, quick smile and magnetic personality captures the attention of the News and Observer photographer and it is a photo of Emily, happily filling bags of rice, that becomes front page news the next day.

This gives Bob something to talk about with Emily when she finds her way to the empty seat beside him on the bus headed to the NC Symphony just a day later. Lively conversation follows and the two bring each other up to date on what’s been happening in their lives the past 80 years. It turns out they have much in common, even sharing 1951 as the year they married (Bob to Joan and Emily to Milford).

Bob didn’t hesitate to ask Emily out on an official date of Mexican and a movie. Following a six day courtship, Bob visited a nearby Ace Hardware to purchase Emily’s engagement ring - a plastic pipe coupling on which he printed a message to her - “I love you. Will you marry me?” He attached the label to the ring, wrapped and packaged it within four other wrapped boxes before calling Emily to tell her that she had a package waiting for her at his home.

Their family and friends will be standing up for 81 year old Emily and 80 year old Bob (“I’m seven months older than him!”) this Saturday. Reverend Phyllis Mayo, Springmoor’s chaplain for over 25 years, who officiated at the funerals of Joan and Milford, will be tying the knot and blending these two families. They will live in his house on the campus and plan to continue their active participation in life.

This is the third couple to meet and wed at Springmoor in recent years.