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Bride, 88, finally gets to wear wedding dress, veil as she marries her first crush

Roland Passaro admitted yesterday that the couple married on March 23rd had entered couple's counseling this week. "OMG she never lets up. Roland take out the garbage. Roland stop playing with your dinner. Roland can you be more attentive. I didn't sign up for this sh-t!".



Bride, 88, finally gets to wear wedding dress, veil as she marries her first crush

It's the second marriage for the bride and groom, both 88. They fell in love after reconnecting at their 50th high school reunion.


Elaine Hall and Roland Passaro got married on March 23, 2024, in Palm Coast, Florida.


May 13, 2024, 8:03 AM CDT / Source: TODAY

By A. Pawlowski, US Today


Elaine Hall never got to wear a white wedding dress and a veil when she married her first husband at 18.


Seventy years later, after reconnecting and falling in love with her childhood crush, she had a second chance to get the traditional wedding she always wanted.


“I kept saying at 88, maybe I shouldn’t wear a veil. My daughters said, ‘Mom, quit trying not to look like a bride. You’re a bride. We’re going to do the whole thing,’” Hall tells TODAY.com.


“When I got up there to him, he said to me, ‘You look so beautiful.’”


He is Roland Passaro, also 88. The couple married in Palm Coast, Florida, on March 23, the second marriage for both. They first met 74 years earlier in junior high school and were each other’s first big crushes before going their separate ways.


“When I saw her in 9th grade, I thought she was very beautiful and exciting. … I thought she was, I guess in today’s parlance, quite hot,” Passaro tells TODAY.com.


He says he felt the same way when he saw Hall walking down the aisle in her white wedding dress and veil: “All this time later, I thought she was just as beautiful, just as exciting.”


It’s possible to fall in love at any age, they want others to know.


Apart for 50 years

Hall and Passaro attended the same junior high school in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in 1950.


She was a cheerleader and he was a star athlete on the baseball team so they often bumped into each other. Hall recalls that Passaro was handsome and very popular, and that she felt a chemistry with him.


The teens socialized at parties and dances, but never dated.


After high school, Hall married another man at 18 in a no-frills ceremony. The military was sending him to Germany, and the couple was in a hurry to get married before then. She wore a blue sun dress that was pretty, but not the white wedding gown she had envisioned.


She had three children and worked at the local newspaper. The marriage didn’t work, and Hall got divorced in 1975. She was single for the next 28 years.


“I always had a special place in my heart for Roland all through those years,” Hall recalls. “I often wondered how he was, if he was happy, had a good life.”


Passaro, meanwhile, went to college after high school and played professional baseball, but a spinal injury ended his athletic career. He married another woman, had three sons and moved to Miami to work for an airline. In 2002, tragedy struck: His wife and one of his sons died within 10 months of each other.


The next year, in 2003, both Hall and Passaro attended their 50th high school reunion in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He came from Miami and she from Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she bought a condo after retiring.


They recognized each other right away, felt their familiar chemistry and exchanged email addresses. At the end of the night, he spontaneously kissed her.


Elaine Hall and Roland Passaro in 2003.

Passaro and Hall at their 50th high school reunion in 2003 where they reconnected.Courtesy Elaine Hall


Soon, they were talking on the phone for hours and emailing every day. Over the next months, the conversations became romantic and she visited him in Florida. By Christmas 2004, Hall moved in with Passaro in Miami.


'What do you think about getting married?'

They enjoyed their relationship, but didn’t discuss marriage for almost 20 years.


When people first met them, they always asked the silver-haired couple: “How long have you two been married?”


After somebody asked them yet again in late 2022, Hall turned to Passaro and said, “What do you think about getting married?” He replied, “I think we should.”


They exchanged vows at the gated community where they live, with family a big part of the wedding. Passaro’s son Jim, an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church, performed the ceremony. His other son was his best man.


Hall’s son died in 2021, so her two daughters walked her down the aisle. The couple’s great-granddaughters were flower girls.


Neither expected to fall in love later in life, but both emphasize it’s absolutely possible.


“It’s wonderful” to be newlyweds as they approach 90, Passaro says.


“I feel the same way as I did at 15,” Hall adds. “I still get the butterflies. I just love him so much.”


To stay healthy in their late 80s, they golf at least twice a week and walk as much as they can. Passaro also exercises at home, including push-ups and sit-ups every night. “You’ve got to keep moving,” he says. “The real deal is not to sit down on the sofa and stay there the rest of your life.”


They read to each other and do puzzles to keep their brains sharp. Good genes play a role, too: Passaro’s parents both lived into their 90s, and Hall’s father did as well.


She’s still surprised by the power of love at any age.


“I thought I had my life all figured out. Retire to the beach, (be with) my friends and my family. But when it did happen, to me it was pure and simple chemistry,” Hall says.

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