PARAMUS, N.J. — A New Jersey man who met a woman at a wedding 64 years ago is tying the knot with his longtime friend.
Joseph Potenzano, 93, of Paramus, is a lifelong bachelor, but that will end soon when he marries 83-year-old Mary Elkind, NJ.com reported.
“If this romance is going to go anywhere, it’s got to happen fast,” Potenzano told the news outlet. “That’s why I broached the subject of marriage. Because at 93 I may only have a few more years.”
His bride-to-be interrupted.
“You may have more than a few years,” Elkind, a widow, told NJ.com. “You never know.”
The couple met in 1959 when Potenzano’s sister, Josephine, got married in Paramus, according to New Jersey online marriage records.
Elkind was the maid of honor, while Joseph Potenzano was the best man, according to NJ.com.
“I thought he was cute,” Elkind told the news outlet. “After the wedding, we went out, but only a few times.”
Both went their separate ways. Elkind was a professional dancer who performed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and later joined a ballet company that toured Europe.
Potenzano went to Fairleigh Dickinson University to pursue an engineering degree, NJ.com reported. He got a job at Picatinny Arsenal, working with rocket engines and artillery shells.
Elkind got married in 1962, and Potenzano attended the wedding, remaining a family friend.
Elkind’s husband died in 2014, but Potenzano did not ask her out until last year.
“I was lonely, and I had very few friends left,” he told NJ.com. “But I decided that being lonely was not an option I was willing to die with.”
After telephone calls, movies and dinner dates, Potenzano popped the question.
The couple will be married on Oct. 15 at Our Lady of the Visitation Church in Paramus, where Potenzano once sang in the choir, the news outlet reported. They plan to honeymoon in Cape Cod.
The only negative is we can’t have kids,” Potenzano joked.