Senior Center Couple Finds Love


In a display of gentle and unassuming affection, Margaret and Henry Henkel never stopped holding hands.

The couple is the first to admit how unlikely it was that they'd ever remarry. After all, they'd both been married for more than 50 years, before they found each other.


Margaret and Henry Henkel met at the Payson Senior Center and eventually married.

Margaret and Henry met at the Payson Senior Center four years ago.

After sharing a common Bible study group, Henry recognized Margaret at church one Sunday.

"She was sitting alone and I asked if I could sit with her at church," Henry said. "The next week, I asked her to lunch after church. We went to lunch on Sundays, from then on."

Love gradually blossomed, proving it knows no limits -- Henry will be 91 this month and Margaret is 84.

"We had a platonic friendship for two years," Henry said.

That friendship grew into something stronger for Henry, who was determined to take the relationship to the next level.

"We should think about marriage," Henry proposed to Margaret one day, he said.

"I don't think so," Margaret replied, less than enthusiastic about the whole idea.

Unfalteringly, Henry pressed on with the friendship.

"He'd ask me and I'd say no and we'd continue being friends and dating," Margaret said, with a laugh.

"Then he'd wait a period of time and ask again."

Eventually Margaret was unable to deny the feelings she had for Henry.

"He's a pretty nice guy," she said, turning to him with a smile and squeezing his hand. "He's persistent, persuasive and patient."

Henry has other ideas for his success.

"I chased her, until she caught me," he said, with a proud chuckle.

The pair had a long conversation about "how we wanted to handle our lives," Margaret said. Afterward, she was convinced marriage was the right step.

"You want to make sure you're doing what is right for both of you," she said. "Marriage is a very serious thing."

After conferring with their families--Margaret has three children and Henry five--the couple chose Sept. 15 as the happy day.

"We all met before the marriage and there was approval all around," Margaret said.

The wedding was held at the couple's church, First Southern Baptist and Kohl's Ranch provided the overnight honeymoon escape. It was the Senior Center reception that provided Henry with the most excitement.

"The volunteers baked us a big sheet cake that said ‘Congratulations,'" Margaret said.

"And they let us take home a big piece of it," Henry quickly added.

The couple said they cherish the time they have together, partly because they have so much in common.

They are both on the Activities Committee at the Senior Center. Both enjoy music, share common beliefs in religion and politics and love the same kinds of food.

"We'd always say we were thinking about something on a menu and the other one would say, ‘That sounds good!'" Margaret said.

"It's a lot of fun," Henry added. "We're enjoying life and each other. It's like the song--‘I'm glad we met the second time around.'"

As for advice on marriage, the newlyweds shared contrasting tips.

"Follow your heart," Margaret offered.

"Consider marriage very carefully," Henry said, ironically.

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