COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Hal and Mary Ellen fell in love nearly six decades ago, but life got in the way.

A perfect composition takes time.

“How did we do that … yes, you had your arms crossed,” Dr. Hall Benson and Mary Ellen Martin sat on their piano bench trying to recreate how they used to sit next to each other in their church pews.

They fell in love in church in 1964 — when they were in their early 20s.

They took a walk on a moonlit night. Full Moon.

“We finally stopped and he looked at me,” Mary Ellen remembers. “And said, ‘May I kiss you?’ and I said yes, so that was our first kiss.”

Hal knew his calling. After that walk, he was heading to Africa as a missionary doctor.

“I realized he was heading to another country to be a doctor and that wasn’t anything for me, so I realized we had to break it off,” Mary Allen said.

So that was it. Hal married Ruth Ann a year later and went to Africa.

He performing surgeries during the week and lead worship services on the weekends.

Hal and Ruth Ann had four kids, 10 grandkids, 9 great-grandkids.

Mary Ellen never married.

“I just knew I would probably never get married, especially after I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma.”

Mary Allen needed a shoulder surgery, so she posted on Facebook. And a doctor friend reached out. His wife of 56 years had died a year earlier.

“Within two weeks, I had ordered her engagement ring,” Hal said with confidence.
I hadn’t seen her in 58 years, I just knew it was right.”

On Dec. 17, 58 years after their first kiss, The 82-year-old widower and the 79 year old who refused to settle married.

“I never would have dreamed that I would be getting married let alone find my first love that men who gave me my first kiss, how does that happen,” Mary Ellen said, smiling.

The perfect composition takes time.

“I am just totally gaga about this girl,” Hal said, giddy with love.