Never Too Late – a Love Story

by Andy Wood on March 7, 2008

in Life Currency, Love

Grandad Mary“I’ll say good-bye to love,” Karen Carpenter once crooned.  Ha!  She never knew Hugh and Mary.

Dede Long shared the wonderful story below of her grandfather who proved that you’re never to old for love or romance.  Enjoy!

In 1920, my paternal grandparents, Hugh and Peggy Stuntz, went to Santiago, Chile as Methodist missionaries.  While they were there, they met a single woman named Mary Sweaney.  Her husband had been killed by lightning when they had only been married eleven months.  Mary was in South America running a Methodist girls’ school.  The three of them became lifelong friends.  My dad, his brother and sister were all born while they lived in South America.

When the time came to come back to the States, my grandparents went to Nashville, where my granddad became the president of a Methodist college there.  Mary ran several girls’ schools through the years.  They kept in touch with each other and would meet occasionally at Methodist conferences.

My grandmother died at eighty-nine years old.  Within about six months, my granddad wrote me to say that when my grandmother knew she was going to die she told him that when she was gone, he should find Mary Sweaney and if she’d have him, he should marry her.  He wrote, “So I did, and she would and we are!”  He said they didn’t know if they would have six months or five years, but they’d have it together.  They married when he was ninety-one and she was ninety!  Mary had never remarried in more than sixty-five years.  They got married in Iowa and planned to live in Florida.  Their honeymoon trip took them from Iowa to Colorado and then Arizona by train, El Paso and Lubbock by bus and to Florida by plane. 

Hugh lived to be 100 and six months old and Mary lived to be 103.  In their last years he couldn’t see and she couldn’t hear, so they worked together and made a good team.  The picture is of Hugh and Mary during their honeymoon trip in Lubbock.

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