High School Sweethearts Fall In Love All Over Again 73 Years Later

March 21, 2024

In a heartwarming tale of love, fate, and reconnection, Bill Hassinger, 90, and Joanne Blakkan, 92, have captured the world's attention with their extraordinary love story.

Growing up in Muskegon, Michigan, the pair first met on a school bus in the 1940s, setting the stage for a romance that would span decades and transcend time.

amazing love stories
Credit: Linda Blakkan

Their journey together began in their youth, with Blakkan reminiscing, "He took me to my senior prom, then I went off to Michigan State, and he was still back in high school, so we kind of each went our separate ways from then on."

Life took them in different directions after high school—Hassinger got married and served in the Korean War, while Blakkan pursued her own path, marrying and raising a family.

For 73 years, their lives unfolded separately, their paths diverging until a twist of fate brought them back together in the fall of 2022. Blakkan, with the help of her daughter Linda, stumbled upon Hassinger's name while searching for lost classmates online. Upon discovering that Hassinger's wife had recently passed away, Blakkan reached out, sparking a reunion that would reignite the flames of their youthful romance.

On September 6, 2022, Hassinger embarked on a journey to North Muskegon for lunch—a date that would mark the beginning of a new chapter in their lives.

"We just really went back to where we were in high school as far as feelings go," Blakkan fondly recalled.

"I think our feelings are stronger now than they were then."

amazing love stories
Credit: Linda Blakkan

Since their reunion, the couple has become inseparable, spending every weekend together and basking in the joy of rediscovered love. Their families, filled with delight, have embraced their relationship wholeheartedly. With Hassinger boasting five grandchildren and one great-grandchild, and Blakkan having four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, their love story has created ripples of happiness that extend far beyond just the two of them.

"Both sides of the family are thrilled, which makes it very nice," shared Hassinger, encapsulating the joy that their reunion has brought to their loved ones.

Hassinger and Blakkan's remarkable journey serves as a reminder that love knows no bounds and that, sometimes, destiny has a way of bringing two souls back together—even after 73 years apart.

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