College Sweethearts Find Love Again After 60 Years Apart

Melissa Knowles
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Finding true love can happen at any age. Peggy Marie Pence and Henry Freund, college sweethearts from Tennessee, first fell in love in the early 1950s as students at Southwestern at Memphis (now known as Rhodes College). But when Freund graduated, joined the Army, and moved away, Pence moved on with her life, graduating from Southwestern, marrying Howard Schuster, and having three children. Freund was stationed at Fort Bliss, in El Paso, Texas, where he got married and had three children, as well.

Years later, Freund attended seminary and was ordained into the ministry. During a church meeting back in Tennessee, Freund heard that his former love had been widowed. He, too, had lost his spouse. Freund wrote to Schuster to express his sympathies for her loss. Ten years later, Schuster gave Freund her e-mail address, and the two began to communicate again.

Freund said, "It didn't take long for the spark that had survived for 60 years to burst into flames." The couple married Sunday, May 13, in a ceremony at Canterbury Place Assisted Living. Regarding his long-lost love, Freund added, "It took 60 years, but Cupid's arrow will finally find its mark."

In another story of lost and found, Alabama native Betty Black lost her high school ring 43 years ago while she was playing softball. Black said that she had never expected to see her ring again. She was wrong.

Last year, Black's daughter married a man named Wendell Watkins, whose family owns the land where the softball field once stood. Although the field had been cleared and had weathered various crops and years of storms, Watkins started a search for the ring.

Watkins said that he tried to imagine the outline of where the softball field had once stood. He found where the pitcher's mound may have been, then traced his way toward where the backstop probably was. Then he started digging. After only about 10 minutes, he noticed something that looked out of place in the dirt. It was Black's class of 1959 ring.

When Watkins reunited his mother-in-law with her ring, she was elated. Black said she was so emotional, she "almost had a seizure."

That's one heck of a son-in-law.