My 78-year young mother has been widowed for over 2 years. Since my father’s funeral, the thought of her facing the rest of her vibrant life alone has often made me sad. The match-maker in us says, good people should meet good people, and miraculously it has happened to her, although she’s known her match for over 50 years. So the corollary is, good people should re-meet good people. Here’s how it happened.

1953, Kerrville, Texas

Tivy High School via

Beth Hardy and Worth Duderstadt met as seniors at Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas. They dated a few times, but went their separate ways to college. Both married, raised families and led the good life. She eventually settled in Atlanta, and he in Texas. They shared one dance at their 50-year high school reunion, but otherwise had no contact.  Each lost their spouse after 50+ years of marriage.

June, 2013

Beth wrote Worth a sympathy note last year after the death of his wife in April. Through a mutual friend, Worth contacted my mother by email in late June (timeline is key here). Thus began a long-distance romance via email and phone. Finally my mother encouraged Worth to come to Atlanta for a visit in October. I knew Worth must be a special guy when I saw how perfectly giddy my mother behaved, simply anticipating his visit, when I saw her in September.

October, 2013

Worth arrived to a carefully planned itinerary full of activities around Atlanta and friends to meet. Mom said they didn’t follow much of the itinerary because they were content to keep each other company in her home. After he left, my mother said they had an understanding. Let’s hear it for old-fashioned romance!

November, 2013

They’re engaged! I immediately shifted into turbo party-planning mode, but my mother insisted that their ceremony was going to be very small out of deference to Worth’s two daughters, who lost their mother less than a year ago. It just wouldn’t be right to put on a big to-do like that. I was sympathetic and obliged their wishes, albeit grudgingly. 

March 1, 2014

The lovebirds are now newlyweds.  

Beth and Worth Duderstadt via The Gracious PosseBeth and Worth Duderstadt

The two were married in an almost-private ceremony, officiated by a dear friend of my mother who is a retired Methodist minister. Two witnesses were also present, as required by law in Georgia. The five feasted at dinner afterwards, and mother’s friends threw a reception the next day in their honor.

Wedding Cake via The Gracious Posse Congratulations Beth and Worth!

May the serendipity that reunited the two of you and the joy of your new love continue to grace your life together for many wonderful years to come! 

love ellen

March 5, 2014