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High school sweethearts reconnect, marry after 64 years

Posted April 13

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — It’s a high-school romance success story that took 64 years to play out.

Joyce Kevorkian and Jim Bowman’s love story began back in 1952 when the pair went on their first date in their junior year of high school, according to BuzzFeed News. They dated through their senior year, even attending prom together, before breaking things off to go to different colleges.

Over the last six decades, Kevorkian and Bowman went on to marry different people and build happy families of their own. Both lost their spouses to strokes — Bowman lost his wife last year, while Kevorkian’s husband passed away five years ago, Inside Edition reported.

“He had his life and I had my life,” Kevorkian told BuzzFeed. “He probably called me four times over the last 60 years.”

Everything changed when Bowman reached out to Kevorkian last fall for help planning their high school reunion. It didn’t take long for the long-dormant spark to reignite.

“My grandma had been very sad since my grandpa passed away five years ago, but when she started talking to Jim, she turned back into her old self,” Kevorkian’s granddaughter, Anna Harris, told the Huffington Post. “When I’d call her up, she had a lot of things she wanted to tell me about her life — she had things to look forward to again.”

Last December, after months of talking on the phone, the 81-year-olds finally had their first date since high school.

“We found we liked each other as much as we liked each other when we were 17,” Kevorkian told BuzzFeed. “We laughed at the same jokes.”

The lovebirds couldn’t get enough of one another, it seems. Bowman asked Kevorkian to marry him earlier this year, and the couple tied the knot in front of family and friends April 1.

“When Jim proposed, she didn’t hesitate one bit and she has been so, so happy ever since,” Harris told the Huffington Post. “To me, Jim isn’t really replacing my grandpa, he’s giving me my grandma back.”

The sweet story went viral when Harris posted a photo from the ceremony to Twitter.

“My grandma is marrying her prom date today,” the post reads. “They found each other 64 years after they went to prom & fell in love again.”

More than 1,600 people have fallen in love with Kevorkian and Bowman’s story — the post has garnered as many likes as of Monday night.

“It was just a really sweet wedding,” Harris told Inside Edition. “The best part is just how happy they both are. They’re both talking about what they are going to do in the future. When you watch them it’s like two high schoolers that just started dating. It’s really nice.”

As for the newlyweds, this was a fairy tale ending they didn't see coming but one that has sparked new breath into their lives.

"It makes me feel young again," Kevorkian told BuzzFeed. "It makes him feel young again."

Jessica Ivins is a content manager for KSL.com and contributor to the Motherhood Matters section.

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