High school sweethearts wed after 52 years apart - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

High school sweethearts wed after 52 years apart

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They say your first true love never fades away and one Dexter couple is proof.

Don and Patti Gard were apart for more than 50 years, but the spark between them never went away.

This love story starts at Dexter High School 54 years ago in 1960.

"She made an impression on me, that very first impression. I could never get over it," Don said.

Patti with her blonde ponytail and Don with his thick black hair, the high school sweethearts ignited a flame than never quite burned out.

"It was a long time ago, but we had pretty strong feelings for one another," Don said.

However, like young love does, their relationship took a turn.

"I said, ‘You get tired of this other guy, call me,'" Don said. "Well, that was 52 years ago and she never called me in 52 years."

So, finally Don made a call to Fort Worth, Texas.

"We probably talked for an hour that first call," Don said.

One call led to another.

"It wound up every night...every night," Don said.

Thanks to technology, with almost 600 miles between them, they soon saw each other every night.

"As we were sitting at our computers, all at once this screen just blinked and there she sat. I was looking at her," Don said.

"[I was] in my robe and gown!"Patti said.

Then, came their first date since high school.

"I finally told her that I was going to come down and take her to dinner, which is what I did," Don said.

The rest, they say, is history.

"When he left from that first trip to come back to Dexter, he said, 'I feel like I've been with my best buddy,'" Patti said.

So, on March 1, 2013, these two high school sweethearts finally became husband and wife.

"It was probably the happiest day of my life," Patti said.

This couple said love has its own perfect timing.

"We are together, enjoying the best part of life now," Patti said.

From a high school love note: "Patti wrote fairly lengthy comments in my annual," Don said.

To their own living room: "No! We aren't going to have any children," Don said.

"No babies, no pets," Patti said with a laugh.

This couple is living happily ever after.

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