William “Bill” Sell will never have an excuse for forgetting his wedding anniversary, Aug. 13, 2014.
The day he married a younger woman was also his 94th birthday. The bride, Doris Bloomberg, will be 89 in October.
Doris had been a widow for five years, and Bill a widower for one, when they met a year ago on the OATS bus to the Platte County Senior Center. It was fate.
“My daughter dragged me to the center,” Bill Sell said. Now he is grateful she did.
At the center the two became better acquainted and participated together in activities such as Wii bowling. They found they shared certain interests and history.
Bill and Doris’s late husband both worked for TWA for many years. Her husband also farmed, and Bill grew up on a farm in Michigan.
Both like to travel and started their marriage with a honeymoon trip to Las Vegas.
Future plans include Lake of the Ozarks and, perhaps, Arizona in the winter.
“I don’t like to stay home,” Doris said.
Their courtship began inauspiciously.
Bill asked for Doris’s phone number, but having no place to write it down, he forgot it.
Doris refused to give him the number again, but he tracked it down.
Bill proposed fairly quickly, but she wasn’t ready yet.
Persistence, though, seems to be Bill’s long suit. When Doris finally said “yes,” he quickly took her shopping for a ring.
“I like estate jewelry,” Doris said. “I knew a place in St Joe.”
The senior center holds so many good memories for the couple, it seemed a natural venue for the ceremony.
The OATS driver, the Rev. Charles Johnson, officiated. He’s pastor of New Life Baptist Church in Platte City.
The couple opted to wed without attendants after a friend at the center regretfully declined to be the best man.
He had scheduled a colonoscopy for that day.
The bride’s two great-grandsons were the ring bearers. Their mother suggested the rings be toys in the event of a spill.
The bride wore a long blue-green dress, and the groom a suit for the short ceremony. After a reception, the couple was off to the Holiday Inn across Northwest Plaza Circle.
At a suggestion from his sister in Michigan, Bill had reserved the honeymoon suite for the night.
What was the first attraction?
For Bill, it was her smile and good looks.
Doris likes being called honey and sweetheart, and she enjoys Bill’s stories about his World War II days and his childhood in Michigan — like the one where at 16 he took the family’s Model T, did not know how to stop it and ran into a sand pile.
The couple will live in her home in Dearborn, the town where she grew up and where she had an antique store for many years.