January 16, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Karen & Ron Baker had their first date on May 1st of last year. On October 4th, just four short months later, they were married. Crazy kids in love?  Impulsive, impetuous teenagers? You might think so, but you would be wrong. These two lovebirds are admittedly far from their teen years, and rather than being impulsive, they explain that they “just knew” that they belonged together.

It did happen fast,” Karen admits, “but it isn’t as if we were strangers. I’d known Ron and his family for years. He was our mail man before he retired. We were in the same parish. Our kids were even in the same dance class together.” But in spite of knowing each other, Ron admits he was nervous when he thought about asking Karen out on a date.

“My wife of 48 years had died,” he explains, “and I knew her husband had also died.
I was so lonely that I somehow found the courage to call her up.”

Karen believes their connecting was a sign of faith, explaining that she had gone to church to offer what’s called a novena, a nine-day prayer, asking God to tell her what she was supposed to do with her life now that her children were grown and her husband gone. “I was amazed to realize,” Karen says,” that Ron’s call to ask me out came either nine or ten days later! I took that to be a direct answer to my prayer.

“I felt comfortable with him right away,” Karen recalls of their first date. “We discovered we shared so many interests.” Ron agrees, and adds, “By the end of that first date, I knew I loved her, and I told her, even though I was afraid I might scare her off!”

“He didn’t scare me off,” Karen adds, “because I already knew I was feeling the same way.”

From that moment on the couple was inseparable. “I asked her to marry me within a few weeks,” Ron says, “because there was no reason to wait. At our age, you understand how limited your time may be, and that anything could happen to change things.”

Though their family members were indeed surprised (between them, they have 10 children, 22 grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren, all of whom were at the wedding), they are “150 percent supportive of our decision,” says Karen. “They just want us to be happy.”

And it definitely appears that they are.

“We’re enjoying doing so many things together,” says Karen, “especially since both of our spouses had been sick for such a long time. We’ve taken up golf again, and we’re also traveling—things that neither of us had been able to do for many years.”

“We honestly feel like we’re about 30 years old, in the sense that we’re rediscovering life,” adds Ron. “We’ve been given a second chance at love, and we don’t take it for granted. We’re going to share the rest of our lives together.”

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