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Man Who Broke Off Engagement in 1963 Convinces Woman to Marry Him 60 Years Later

Their love story is something out of the movies. 

If it's meant to be, it's meant to be. In a heartwarming new story, a couple reunites after 60 years apart – and now they are married. Ed Sneckenberger and Priscilla Matheny were engaged to be married in the 1960s, but things didn't work out. Six decades later the couple met for lunch and took things up where they left off. Less than a year later, Ed convinced his true love to marry him. Here is what you need to know about their epic love story. 

Ed and Priscilla Met 60 Years Ago and Got Engaged


According to People, Ed first met Priscilla 60 years ago and the two were engaged to be married. After getting engaged in September 1962, Ed went off to college a few hours away at West Virginia University, while Priscilla stayed home. She went to visit him a few times, and then received a Dear John letter and ended the engagement. "Of course I was excited because I thought it was one of my nice letters I'd been getting," she told People in an interview. "And it was a Dear John letter [saying] that he was breaking our engagement."

He Broke Her Heart When He Broke Off Their Engagement


"It broke my heart, which he never even knew," Priscilla says, "because I never saw him or talked to him after that letter." She ended up meeting another man, Wally Matheny, who she married. "I just really thought that the Lord sent him to me to heal my broken heart," she said about her first husband. 

Both Ended Up Marrying Other People and Becoming Widowers

Bride and groom at wedding

Ed went on to earn a master's and PhD in mechanical engineering at WVU. He also got married, to Scottie Hansbrough, another woman from his hometown. Both ended up becoming parents and grandparents, and also became widowers. 

Ed Wanted to Apologize to Priscilla


After Scottie died in October 2021, Ed started talking to his sisters every night and remembered Priscilla. "I was grieving," Ed says. "And my youngest sister, sometime in the spring of last year, said, 'Priscilla was such a good lady.'" He added: "I remembered this lady that I had probably hurt 60 years ago," he said. "And I needed to say I'm sorry." 

She Tried to Avoid Him

facebook app on smartphone
Jirapong Manustrong / Shutterstock

He decided to find her. "I just took it upon myself to say, 'I need to say I'm sorry," Ed said. He reached out to her on Facebook, sending her a friend request but she denied him and ignored his messages on Facebook messenger. "I thought, 'What is with this guy?' Priscilla recalls. "I don't want to be friends with him on Facebook." He also reached out to her church's secretary. "I told the secretary, 'You tell him I don't want to see him," Priscilla recalls. "I thought 'What's going on? Why does he want to see me now after what he did to me?'"

But Finally Agreed to Meet Him at Panera


The only way to "get rid of him" was to meet Ed for coffee at Panera. "I'm going to find out what's going on," she says, "and that'll be the end of it." They ended up talking for hours. "But really, when I walked away from Panera, I had not expected to see him again," she says. However, he called her that night. "I had a pretty bad evening with tears, because I think I realized that there was still some love there for him," Priscilla says. "Which I probably would have denied."

He Was Insistent and Soon Proposed


She tried to avoid seeing him, but he showed up at her door. "She let me in," he says. "Sunday afternoon was the time when the flames — we couldn't hold them back." They hugged, and he proposed that day. "For me it was like 60 years just went away," she says. "And I'm kind of like, 'Whoa, I'm not ready for this, it's way too soon," Priscilla recalls of the surprise proposal. "And I said, 'I have no plans to get married again.'"

She Finally Said Yes


He started driving to see her every weekend and finally convinced her to marry him in June. "One of the things that brought us together to begin with was our belief in God and our Christian background," says Priscilla. "I knew he was still a good Christian guy, and he's very caring, a sweet guy," she says. "These are some of the things that I loved about him before."

They Are Now Married and "Happier" Than Ever


Priscilla wanted a long engagement, but Ed didn't want to wait. "It was a gradual weakening on her part from never to eventually her agreeing to do it," he says. Now married for two months and living together, the two are madly in love. "I couldn't be happier. I felt like this was God's gift to me," says Ed. "He is still a good man overall, kind, thoughtful, caring. It's nice to have somebody like him in my life and share the rest of our lives together," adds Priscilla. 

She Says, "Never Give Up Hope"


"She makes me feel five years younger," Ed adds. "I'm overwhelmed with happiness." Priscilla has a message for everyone: "Never give up hope," she says. "In my case, it was shocking. Just hope that someday there's somebody who's going to come along."

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