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93-year-old man to marry his 'the one that got away' six decades later

By Melanie Uson Published Aug 24, 2023 4:32 pm

Thinking you’re too late to find love at your age? A "lifelong" bachelor is set to tie the knot to a woman he met at a wedding six decades ago.

93-year-old Joseph Potenzano and Mary Elkind, 83, detailed how their love story began in an interview with FOX 5. The couple said they met at his sister’s wedding way back in 1959. Joe was the best man, while Mary served as the maid of honor. 

“He called me I guess a few weeks after the wedding, and asked me to go out,” Mary recalled. 

The two briefly dated at that time but had to go separate ways when Joseph joined the army, while Mary pursued her dream as a ballerina and started her family with another manwith whom she shared three kids. Joseph, meanwhile, has gone on dates but never got married over the years. 

The two had remained in touch, but never really rekindled their love until last year at a family event, where Joseph tried his shot again and asked Mary on a date. 

Joseph shared in an interview with ABC affiliate WABC-TV that he realized how “lonely” he was, one random day sitting in his house. 

"I was sitting in my house one day, sitting in my sofa chair, and I noticed there was nobody else I could call,” he mused. 

“Everybody was gone. And I began to feel that loneliness that only comes at 90 years old,” he added.

Mary, now widowed for nine years, tried dating again with Joseph. The two went out to coffee and movie dates, and have been consistently calling each other despite being miles away (Joseph lives in New Jersey, while Mary lives in New York). 

“I think we’re pretty romantic,” said Mary. 

Joseph’s first proposal to Mary was rejected, saying she “wasn’t quite sure.” But being the persistent man he is, he tried again, and finally got her sweet “yes.” 

Mary told the local media that although she was able to live alone for nine years, she knew in her heart that she wanted more. 

“I’ve always cared for Joe,” she said.  “There were times when I wondered what my life would have been like if I married Joe. So that’s what makes it easy for me.” 

The two are set to tie the knot on October 15 and will have their honeymoon in Cape Cod.