Star-crossed lovers, Janice Rude and Prentiss Willson, of Yountville, California, were meant to be together, but they were prohibited from marrying. They fell in love in college, yet the girl’s father made her call it quits. Fifty years later, amazingly, the stars finally aligned.
Janice Rude and Prentiss Willson met for the first time in Occidental College in Los Angeles. Then, Janice, a sophomore biology major, was supplementing her tuition by working breakfast shifts at the college cafeteria, where she met Prentiss, a lowly first-semester freshman.
Prentiss soon became enchanted by Janice and started to frequent the cafeteria in the morning hours just to see her.
“Every day, at 6 a.m., because I just wanted to see her and have our little morning exchange. I actually didn’t think I had a chance with her. She was a year ahead of me and just so beautiful,” Prentiss told Huffington Post.
Daughter is forbidden to marry love of her life – 40 yrs later she finds newspaper clipping her mom hid.
Prentiss made Janice’s heart flutter whenever he showed up at the cafeteria line. “His smile was so sincere and his eyes were kind. He was different,” Janice said, according to The Press Democrat.
They started dating and became inseparable. “At one point, we kissed and held hands,” Prentiss said. Janice added: “From that point, we knew we had to be married.”
In 1962, the two got engaged and even announced it in the local newspaper. Unfortunately, Janice’s father didn’t share her enthusiasm for Prentiss and ordered her to end the relationship on threat of cutting her college tuition.
“We tried to figure things out but I guess we weren’t smart enough,” Prentiss recalled. Janice’s mother tried to help by taking another mortgage, but it didn’t work out. “We had to. We didn’t want to, but we had to.”
Janice and Prentiss each went on to live separate lives. Both married other people, but they never forgot about each other. “I thought of him, I would say, almost all the time. It was very hard,” said Janice.
Yet it seemed their destiny had somehow already been set. Both later divorced, and, after 50 years apart, Janice and Prentiss looked each other up. They met for lunch, and it all came flooding back.
In 2012, the couple tied the knot at Occidental College with the presence of friends and fellow alums.
“Some things were just meant to be,” Prentiss said.
50 years after they met, they finally got married ❤️
Interestingly, both their mothers seemed to have been clued in enough to know that the two were meant to marry each other.
Janice and Prentiss learned, when each of their mothers died, that they both had kept newspaper clippings of the original engagement announcement.
It turned out, amazingly, that Janice’s mother had kept the clipping in her wallet for over 35 years. “The mothers got it. The mothers simply knew, and I think we also knew,” said Prentiss.
“We lament every day that we missed being together. That’s about 17,500 days — but who’s counting?” Prentiss said in an interview.
Finally, now in their 70s, Janice and Prentiss, who live in a house in Yountville, which overlooks a vineyard, can fulfill their destiny of being together. “We feel like we’re 18 again,” Janice said, “blissfully in love.”
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