Her Father Stopped The Wedding, 50 Years Later, They Discovered The Reason Why

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They met in college


This is the shocking love story of Janice Rude and Willson Prentiss. The pair met at college in LA, in 1962. After a couple of months together, the two young lovers decided to get married. They knew they wanted to spend their lives together and celebrate their love for one another amongst family and friends.

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Their love story began and ended


Janice and Willson met in the cafeteria, where she was working. For the young and innocent couple, it was love at first sight. They seemed destined to spend their lives together.

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Good Catch


Fraternity boy Prentiss Willson was part of Kappa Sigma. Willson was a smart and ambitious student, studying law. He was determined to gain his degree and make something of himself. Not only was Prentiss Willson a committed future lawyer, he was good looking and charismatic. Janice felt blessed to have found love and companionship with Wilson.

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A Man Of Principle


Willson was set to live a full and successful life. When his fraternity refused to let black student, Gene Grigsby, pledge for the Oxy Chamber, Prentiss voiced his opinion on the matter. He was a man of principle and strong moral character who always opposed injustice.

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love at first sight


As Willson said of his relationship with Janice in 2013, “I believe we were simply meant to be. I even remember the first time I laid eyes on Janice.” The lovestruck pair had no idea that their fateful meeting would take them on an emotional unexpected 50-year journey.

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Early morning breakfasts


Willson headed to the canteen every day at 6.00am for breakfast. Janice was delighted to see more and more of this handsome and well-mannered man. Like clockwork, Prentiss would make his way down to the canteen each morning. Though infatuated, Janice wondered if her feelings were returned…

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Not a chance


“I actually didn’t think I had a chance with her. She was a year ahead of me and just so beautiful.” Little did he know that Janice was falling love with the law student. The pair continued seeing each other every single morning, slowly developing a secret yet deep passion for one another. Soon, their feelings were revealed.

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Not what he had in mind


The couple confessed their love for another and after a whirlwind romance, decided to spend their lives together. When Janice told her father about her plans to marry the young man, he was adamant she end the relationship and cancel the wedding plans. Janice was distraught, she knew she could not go through with a wedding that would cause her father to disown her.

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A father’s explanation


Many years later, Janice explained to AARP Magazine the possible reasons her father was against their relationship. He was a conservative and strict man. Despite his daughter’s desperate pleas, he would not be swayed.

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A father’s disapproval


Janice’s father did not approve of her relationship. He threatened to cut all financial ties with Janice if she went through with the wedding. Without her father’s support, Janice would be unable to finish her degree in biology. The lovers were heartbroken. Her father’s disapproval seemed so cruel. They were in love and desperate to commit to each other, would they obey Janice’s father’s wishes?

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She Had To Make A Choice


Janice was forced to choose between her relationship with Willson and her college education. She had to make a life-changing choice. Her mother supported her in her relationship with Wilson, but her father was determined to do anything to keep the couple apart. She had to make a decision: to pursue her education or set out on her own with Wilson without the love of her father.

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Wilson was a great guy


Willson was a good man with a bright future. Janice was confused and distraught by her father’s disapproval. What had angered him? The young university student considered eloping but the thought of losing her father’s respect was too much to bear. Instead of planning her dream wedding, she was being forced to walk away from true love.

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Love at First Sight


‘Love at first sight’ – this is how Willson described their relationship in a recent interview he gave to Huffington Post. He wanted nothing more than to make Janice his wife, to build a life with the one he loved. But these were conservative times, women were submissive to their father’s wishes.

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Thanksgiving Weekend


Their’s truly was a special love story. After mere months together, Janice drove over 150 miles to meet Willson’s parents and spend the weekend with them. Willson was thrilled to introduce the love of his life to his parents and unlike Janice’s father, Willson’s parents encouraged the two to wed.

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Engagement News


Even the local newspapers were thrilled at news of the couple’s engagement. Amidst the support, Janice’s father began to obsess over the relationship. His overprotective nature soon took hold of him. He gave Janice an ultimatum: she had to choose between Willson and her studies.

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A Choice


Janice was torn and distraught. She was committed to her studies. She wanted to gain her own independence, to pursue a career and be released from her rigid father’s grip. She ultimately made her life-changing decision.

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Mother’s Help


Janice’s mother refused her husband’s wishes – she believed Willson and Janice belonged together and that their love would prevail. This loving mother pulled out a second mortgage just to help her daughter finish her college degree.

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Failed Efforts


Sadly, her mother’s support was not enough, Janice’s father still forced her to break off her relationship and cancel the wedding. Her father believed that “Willson was a street boy.” The young lovers, seemingly destined for one another were eventually torn apart.

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Trying to figure it out


Janice and Willson soon parted ways. Years passed and both Willson and Janice continued to forge their own life paths. The lovestruck lovers had come to terms with the fact they would be kept from one another, or so they thought…

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Separate Paths


Willson went on to become one of the best tax attorneys in San Francisco. Janice took over her family business in Nevada. They each made a name for themselves, life continued but they were forever plagued by the loss of their young love.

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Crisis Mode


Both Janice and Willson found new loves. Each married but the relationships appeared to be doomed. Both marriages ended in bitter divorces. Sadly more tragedy was soon to follow…

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A Little Reminder from 1962


Both of Janice and Willson would soon suffer a painful loss: both of their mother’s would soon pass. Strangely enough, it was this loss which brought them together again. As each of them sorted through their mothers’ belonging, they found the newspaper article from 1962. It was their engagement announcement from all those years before.

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The First Attempt


After so many years, the two were suddenly consumed with thoughts of one another. Both Willson and Janice were single again. Willson soon became determined to track Janice down. After an in-depth internet search, Willson found Janice’s contact details. Had their connection endured after all this time?

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Nervous Feelings


Willson plucked up his courage to make contact; he asked Janice to brunch. The pair were nervous about the outcome of their story. Decades had passed, they had pursued different paths and grown so much since their years together. Could destiny bring them back together again?

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Reunited


After 35 years, Janice and Willson were reunited. Thanks to their mothers, from beyond the grave they had helped their children to finally find love. Wilson said, “The mothers got it. The mothers simply knew, and I think we also knew”.

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The First Date


Their first date was in San Francisco’s Cliff House. She was wearing the same color dress she wore for Thanksgiving in 1961. Willson was overcome with emotion when he saw Janice. Despite their time apart, their love and passion for one another had survived the years of separation. 6 Months later, the couple was engaged.

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A True Romantic


Wilson had longed for Janice for 35 long and painful years. ”We lament every day that we missed being together. That’s about 17,500 days — but who’s counting?”. True love conquers all in the end.

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The wedding invitation


They used the newspaper cutting from 1962 on their wedding invitations. Finally, the pair could celebrate their enduring love amongst their family and friends.

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Finally married


They got married on August 19th, 2012 in the student union at the Occidental College. They chose a special location for their big day; the exact place where they first met, all those years before.

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Happily Ever After


Janice and Willson now live in Napa Valley and enjoy relish minute of their time together. They said in an interview, “We feel like we’re 18 again.” This is one love story that ended with an unlikely and beautiful reunion.

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