Love can be found in some of the most unexpected places. For Ellen Cook, 85, and Jim McCrum, 71, it blossomed at the Sanctuary at St. Paul’s.
Both are residents there and were acquainted.
“Jim’s wife and I were friends for years,” Ellen said of Patricia, who had been married to Jim 40 years before her death some six months ago.
Ellen herself was widowed 12 years ago when her husband Jerry, died. They had been married 40 years.
But the two, living on the same floor at St. Paul’s, began socializing. Soon, Jim was smitten and the couple were an item.
Eventually, Jim wasn’t satisfied with just dating and got up the nerve to propose.
“I made him get down on his knee and ask me to be his wife,” Ellen said.
Jim laughed, noting that he indeed got down on his knee but needed help getting back up.
“It was so sweet,” Ellen added, “and I accepted. He’s a wonderful man and I know he’ll be a good husband.”
Jim feels the same about her.
“She’s just a very nice person,” he said. “Plus, we were friends first.”
Their recent wedding in the chapel at St. Paul’s was attended by several residents; neither Ellen nor Jim have children.
Joy radiated from Ellen’s face as she walked slowly down the aisle to the “Wedding March,” escorted by her neighbor, Jerry Berntsen. She wore a cream color top, leather brown skirt and carried a bouquet of beautiful flowers. Bunny Miller served as Ellen’s matron of honor.
The beaming groom, flanked by best man Larry Miller, didn’t go unnoticed. He was handsome in his gray suit with a pink tie.
The Rev. James Campbell, former pastor of The Peoples Church, performed the ceremony and during the ring exchange the couple had a little mixup.
“If this is the smallest thing that happens in your marriage, then your lives will be great,” the minister said.
The guests laughed, but many dabbed tears from their eyes as the ceremony continued. When the vows were completed, the minister pronounced the pair husband and wife.
“I introduce to you Mr. and Mrs. Jim McCrum.”
As they made their way to the reception area, guests caught a glimpse of the wedding cake and sign saying “Best wishes to Mr. & Mrs. McCrum.”
(c)2012 the South Bend Tribune (South Bend, Ind.)