A global pandemic is a hard time to be single. With nearly all public social spaces closed to prevent transmission and contact with anyone outside one’s household strongly discouraged, there aren’t many options for dating. Reports of loneliness and isolation among this group have been common.
One option is to reconnect with previous acquaintances over the phone. This is how John Shults and Joy Morrow-Nulton, both 94, went about things. During the pandemic they spent hours on the phone each day. They’ll be married in May, within days of both turning 95.
The pair are both widowed twice. Shults said he “was eager to be in love, and so was she.”
“We met through her son,” said Shults. “He and I used to meet on Tuesdays at Slice of Italy for lunch.”
Morrow-Nulton said that it was two years ago that Shults told her son about his May birthday.
“My son said oh, my mom’s birthday is in May and she’s the same age,” said Morrow-Nulton. “They decided to invite me to meet them, so I went up and had lunch with them and then I had lunch with them every week for two years.”
She said they were just friends for a long time. Then Shults began calling daily during the pandemic. Their courtship involved several daily phone calls and meeting for outdoor meals.
“She is cute, knowledgeable, and we liked the same things,” said Shults.
These days, they see each other more often; Morrow-Nulton drives up from Tillson to Hurley to see Shults every day.
Shults asked Morrow-Nulton “dozens of times” to marry him before she finally said yes. It came after a snowstorm, when she realized she missed him. Their wedding date is set for May 22 at Cross Point Fellowship in Hurley, with the reception at Kingston’s Robert Post Park and a honeymoon in Tillson. They both said they are looking forward to their special day.
With Covid-19 protocols still in place, they are only able to invite 50 people – they’re having some trouble figuring out who makes the cut and who will be left out.
“The best part is it gives old people hope,” said Shults. “It is possible.”