High School Sweethearts Plan to Wed, More Than 60 Years After They Met in Their Junior Year

Bob Harvey (left) and Annette Adkins (right) met when they were both juniors in high school.
Bob Harvey (left) and Annette Adkins (right) met when they were both juniors in high school. (Gar-Field High School)

An elderly couple’s love story was 63 years in the making, and in just a few short weeks, they’ll get their happily ever after.

Annette Adkins and Bob Harvey, both 80, plan to marry at the Nutcracker Family Restaurant, in Pataskala, Ohio, in a small, private ceremony. The elderly couple chose the diner for its 1950s decor of jukeboxes and padded booths – reminders of the time they first fell in love.

“I think sometimes I can’t love her more, but then there’s tomorrow,” Harvey told USA Today.

It all started in 1955, when they were both juniors attending Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge, Virginia.

“She was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in my life,” Harvey said. “I fell madly, totally and 100% in love with her. We had a wonderful junior year.”

Adkins added, “I thought I was in love.”

But their romance was cut short when summer came, and Adkins went on vacation with her family to Florida, where she fell in love with someone else she would marry just years later.

Adkins broke the news when they returned to school in the fall.

“Bob comes to me. I’m at my locker. He has his arms spread out for a hug and I said, ‘Bob, I found someone else and I don’t want to date you anymore,’” she recalled saying.

“She broke my heart,” Harvey said. “Nice guy I am, the Southern gentleman, I said, ‘All right.’”

Harvey also eventually married someone else a few years later, who eventually lost her battle with cancer in 2017.

That was when Harvey began thinking about Adkins again. After a quick Google search, he found Adkins’ husband’s obituary and learned she became a widow in 2015. He sent her a card with his number and days later, received a message from her on his answering machine.

After several days of chatting, Harvey made the 500-mile drive from his home in Virginia to hers in Ohio.

“We just reconnected immediately,” Adkins said. “He held my face in both his hands and he kissed me.”

They spent the following days catching up on lost time and getting to know one another’s family.

When Harvey proposed, with the help of Adkins’ daughter, he presented her a vintage ring with three stones, to symbolize their past, present and future together.

“I love her dearly. I love her more every day,” Harvey said.

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