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A Couple's Forbidden Marriage Became a Heartwarming Love Story 50 Years Later


True love has no time limit. It intertwined the fates of two young lovers from Los Angeles.

Janice Rude and Prentiss Willson got engaged and almost tied the knot, but then it seemed like fate had pushed them together to only drive them apart. It left them disillusioned by love until they realized fate already had a plan for these two love birds.

We've heard countless stories from the 20th century where fathers oppose their young daughter's marriage, leaving her with the decision to either drift away from the love of her life or defy her father's wishes.

Back in that time period, falling in love wasn't that easy. There were no mobile phones or unlimited texting plans to keep you connected with your crush at any moment of the day. You'd have to ask the approval of your parents on many aspects of your life, especially when it came to love.

Both Janice and Prentiss attended Occidental College in the early 1960s. Janice studied biology and Prentiss, a year younger than Janice, studied law. The first time they both laid eyes on each other, they described it as "love at first sight."

Little did they know that they'd have to go on a tumultuous journey to tie the knot five decades later...

The couple were nearly inseparable before they got engaged. Although they were afraid to express their love for one another in the early stages, it was when Prentiss left to see his family for Thanksgiving that she felt an aching desire to see him.

Their special bond blossomed rapidly, so they decided to get engaged while they were still students at college. They wanted to proclaim their love to everyone, so they made an announcement in a newspaper back in December 1962 that stated, "No date has been set for the wedding."

Janice's father disproved of the love-stricken couple because he didn't see Prentiss becoming a 'successful' man. He was a firm believer that intellect wouldn't get people anywhere in society, it was the people who were street-smart that succeeded. He told Janice he'd cut all financial ties with her if she tied the knot, but Janice heavily relied on those funds to finish her degree.

Janice worried that if she didn't finish her degree, Prentiss would slowly lose interest in her because he would see her as uneducated. At that moment, Janice changed her fate when she decided to separate from the love of her life.

Prentiss became a tax attorney and Janice went on to run her family's diving board business. They both started families and divorced over the span of four decades.

After the death of their mothers, they discovered that both mothers held on to the newspaper engagement announcement, clearly showing that both of them wanted Janice and Prentiss to elope.

They reached out to each other to catch-up over brunch and ended up getting engaged again!

They tied the knot in 2012 and became inseparable once again.

“We lament every day that we missed being together. That’s about 17,500 days – but who’s counting?” Prentiss said in an interview.

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Moojan has been a writer at Shared for a year. When she's not on the lookout for viral content, she's looking at cute animal photos. Reach her at moojan@shared.com.