Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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September 3, 2013

Nearly 80 years after sharing first kiss, couple marries

(Continued)

ALEDO, Texas —

Garner married his wife in 1950, and the two were together for 62 years.

Their marriages produced several children.

"We were both happily married," Shaw-Bell said. "If things hadn't have happened like they did, we wouldn’t have our children."

The couple's reunion was set in motion when Shaw-Bell's daughter, Cheryl, made plans to throw a surprise 85th birthday for her mother earlier this year. Cheryl found Garner’s address in Colorado through an internet search, and she sent him an invitation to the party.

"When I got that invitation, I called the number on it," Garner said. "It was probably no less than 15 minutes after I had opened the invitation."

Garner, who was nursing his wife in the late stages of Alzheimer's, was unable to attend. Shortly after, his wife passed away.

Garner and Shaw-Bell began spending more time together this year, making the decision to wed a few months ago with the full support of their families.

"As a very young child, my grandmother was in love with the neighbor boy," Shaw-Bell's granddaughter, Celeste Green Leinberger, wrote on Facebook earlier this month. "Eighty years later, several wars, widowed twice, three kids, a ton of grandkids and great grandkids, floods, fires and tornadoes later, Grandmother is finally marrying the neighbor boy who always appeared with the right intentions at the wrong time."

Sally Sexton writes for The Weatherford (Texas) Democrat.

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