In the early 1940’s, when Katie Smith and Ed Sellers were 14 and 15-years-old, they found love in one another. However, their young relationship was forced to end as they were forced to adhere by strict religious guidelines that only allowed a chaperoned courtship.
Although the teenage sweethearts had to go their separate ways, their friends and family were aware of their relationship as they would talk about each other all the time, leading many to hope that one day they would finally end up together, where they appeared to belong.
Katie’s granddaughter, Stefanie Helsel spoke of their relationship after her grandmother had told her stories of her young lover. She explained “She actually made him wait about two years before she’d let him kiss her.
The biggest part of their courtship is that they’d have to sit on the couch there with a chaperone in the living room, or her sisters had to sit on the couch. It dwindled out because it was so stifled because of the constraints on their dating.” Perhaps it was the fact they weren’t allowed to be close that provoked a reaction of desire for one another.
However, the two went on to marry other people and maintain long, happy relationships until they were both widowed as Smith’s husband died of cancer and Seller’s wife died four years ago, battling the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. Although decades passed, they never forgot and about a year and a half ago, Seller’s tried his luck again and gave Katie a call. When Seller’s first rang her, she didn’t answer for a while so decided to drive 45 minutes to her home. His determination paid off and as soon as they saw each other again he said they “picked up where we left off.”
When they rekindled their relationship, Katie’s granddaughter stated they hadn’t seen each other in 70 years but their “friendship grew to seem like they hadn’t even been apart. He would visit her twice a week because she’s very religious so he could never stay over.
“Wednesday and Sunday he’d stay with her in the morning and drive back in the evening. He probably asked her for six months to marry him and she finally agreed. He tells the story that he doesn’t have enough fingers and toes to count the times he asked.”
Finally, when the two married, they had a small, intimate affair attended by 50 of their closest family. The long ceremony meant that their family brought in rocking chairs for the elderly couple to sit in while many of their relatives participated in the nuptials.
The couple both paid tribute to their late spouses as to not dishonor them in their new marriage. As for Katie’s favorite part of the day, she sweetly stated “When they said, ‘I pronounce you man and wife.'”