By Mollie Tracey
Two childhood sweethearts have rekindled their love and tied the knot after spending 64 years apart.
Joyce Kevorkian, and Jim Bowman, both 81 from Indiana, USA, first met in high school and started dating aged just 17.
After graduating in 1953, they went their separate ways, and started families of their own.
But last year, after spending six years widowed, Joyce received a letter from Jim and she responded asking to reconnect with him.
In December, after endless phone conversations, the two decided to meet up and Jim drove five hours to her house where they went on their first date since the 1950’s.
After rekindling their love and friendship for each, Jim asked Joyce to marry him and the pair tied the knot on April 1.
Joyce said: “At our age it’s not often you get chances like this, it can be so lonely when you lose someone you love and to have found each other again is so very special.
“We first met when we were 14 years old but it wasn’t until we turned 17 that we started dating.
“We were in the same friendship group at school and loved to go dancing together, Jim even asked me to go to the prom with him, we had some wonderful times.
“We both went our separate ways and even though it had been 64 years we realised we weren’t starting over from scratch and we seemed to pick up from where we left off.
“We fell in love all over again, it was like we had never been apart.”
Jim said: “I remember liking Joyce because she was a fun loving girl, we had similar interests and respected each other.
“We can’t remember why we didn’t stay connected after high school, but there must have always been a special connection in our hearts.
“Neither of us discussed our high school relationship with our families, we kept it to ourselves.
“After meeting again we asked ourselves would it be possible to pick it back up from where we left off.
“We both just looked at each other and instantly knew we could.”
After dating in high school, both Joyce and Jim went their separate ways and met new partners who they later married.
Joyce added: “We both had similar interests, we were in the same choir at school and cared a lot for each other.
“But after graduating we never spoke again and I met my first husband Harry at collage.
“We went to classes together and soon became a couple, we married in 1958 and had a wonderful life together with three beautiful children.
“Sadly Jim lost his first wife Jane last year to Alzheimer’s, they married in 1958 and had four children together, he too had a very happy life.”
Jim added: “After Jane passed away I thought about Joyce and wondered what she had been up too since we last met.
“I didn’t think I would hear back from her at first, I sent her an email which she never received and then I sent her a letter but I had to wait for her reply.
“She told me about her family and she said that she hoped to hear from me again, well that’s all I needed to hear and started planning a trip to see her.”
The couple spent endless phone conversations catching up on the years they had spent apart and decided to meet up again.
Joyce said: “After a few visits and many phone conversations, Jim phoned me up one day and asked me to marry him.
“My granddaughter Anna was in the room with me at the time and I said I think that’s a good idea.
“We set a date for April 1, we thought that was a good day for two old fools in love.
“My friends threw me a bridal shower, they gave me presents which were all a joke and I opened them whilst on the phone to Jim as I wanted him to be there with me.
“We wanted something low key because of our age and decided to hold the ceremony at the complex where I live, the room was lovely with stain glass windows.
“The ceremony was wonderful and afterwards we went on a five day honeymoon to Brown County State Park where we stayed in a lodge.
“Jim has now moved in with me and we are enjoying every minute we spend together, we are both smiling again and love to talk about our future together.”