It’s a forbidden love story like no other.
No, I’m not talking about Romeo and Juliet. I’m talking about Janice Rude and Prentiss Willson.
A sophomore in college in the 1960s, Janice worked in the cafeteria to make money throughout her student career.
It was there where she and Prentiss first laid eyes on each other. They say it was love at first sight.
Prentiss began eating breakfast in the dining hall each morning where he could see the beautiful young woman he was quickly growing fond of. And thanks to Janice’s BOLD effort to see Prentiss over Thanksgiving break that fall, the two began dating.
They quickly fell in love, and in a short bit of time, Prentiss and Janice became engaged. Their families announced it in their local newspapers, and wedding planning commenced.
But it all came to a screeching halt when Prentiss met Janice’s father for the first time.
The Rude family patriarch was not fond of Prentiss or the young man’s love for his daughter. He demanded Janice to break off the engagement at once, and threatened to cut off all financial support—which she needed in order to complete school—if she didn’t comply with his wishes.
Though they survived the heart-wrenching breakup, Janice and Prentiss would never fully let go of the love they shared with one another. Both of them went on to marry other people, and eventually divorce, but it was a shocking discovery that would one day bring them back together.
After Janice’s mother died, she found a newspaper clipping in her mother’s wallet. It was the engagement announcement of Janice and Prentiss from decades before. When Prentiss’ mother died, he too found the engagement announcement from his local newspaper among his mother’s things.
Janice says she’s never stopped thinking about her first and only one true love, Prentiss. After a lifetime of missing the love they once shared, the college-lovers met again. Only this time they never let go.
Fifty years after their paths first crossed, Janice and Prentiss tied the knot at 71 years old. They exchanged vows at the only place that seemed fitting—the courtyard at the University where they first met! It’s an extension of the cafeteria where the pair first laid eyes on each other.