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home : news : state news free June 28, 2016

1/22/2013 1:12:00 PM
SPOTLIGHT: Kankakee couple marry in their 70s

KANKAKEE, Ill. (AP) — Kenneth Smith can't put his finger on what attracted him to his new wife, Joyclin. For her part, Joyclin will tell you she wasn't looking for a husband.

But they were married in a civil ceremony Jan. 12, and they're living the dream today, at the River Valley Supportive Living Residence, 1975 E. Court St, Kankakee.

Kenneth celebrated his 71st birthday Jan. 15. Joyclin is 76. It was a simple ceremony: No best man or maid of honor. There was no honeymoon trip.

In fact, Joyclin said she's not too eager about going outside at all until it warms up. Kenneth, a retired mechanic and truck driver from Bradley, was married and divorced in the 1960s. The idea of ending his bachelor lifestyle came as such a surprise, he hasn't had time to tell his four children about it.

Joyclin, a lifelong Kankakeean, was widowed after 25 years of marriage, and she can recall the day her first husband asked if she would remarry after his death.

"I told him I didn't think I would, but I think he kind of hoped I would," she explained. "I lived here three years, and I never met anyone like (Kenneth) before."

"I've only been here six or seven months, but I saw her as soon as I moved in, and she seemed real nice," Kenneth said. "I never thought I'd ever get married again, but she was different. I liked her personality and her looks. I fell for her.

"It's not crazy," he assured. "I thought I'd stay single, but, heck, we're not getting any younger ... we figured: Why not now?"

But it's not all smooth sailing yet. They do everything together around the facility, but they haven't been able to consolidate their things into one apartment yet. They're each a little stubborn about getting rid of any of the things they've held onto over the years.

They are, however, sharing their nights.

"Well, he doesn't snore," she said. "He wears one of those masks (attached to an air pump to reduce the effects of sleep apnea), and that makes some noise. But he doesn't snore."

"And, you know, it's nice to have someone to wake up with and talk to," he said. "It's not so lonely anymore."

Anderson Jewelers

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