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He proposed 60 years ago, then broke her heart. Now they've finally tied the knot


Perhaps you've received a Facebook friend request from someone who isn't really a friend. Priscilla Matheney has.

PRISCILLA MATHENEY: I thought, I don't want to be his friend, so I just deleted him.

SUMMERS: He was Ed Sneckenberger. They'd met in 1959 through church in Hagerstown, Md.

MATHENEY: I mean, it's just - you know, he was just a super nice guy, very caring, very much a gentleman. I also thought he was pretty handsome, too.


Three years later, they were engaged. But Sneckenberger was having doubts, you see, because he was in college, which he says he could barely afford as it was. And the thought of adding marriage to all that?

ED SNECKENBERGER: I came to realize some of the difficulties, the financial difficulties with education, and so I had to make a decision.

CHANG: He sent a letter calling off the engagement.

MATHENEY: And, of course, I sat there after I read it. I sat on the edge of the bed and cried and cried and cried and, you know, was very brokenhearted.

SUMMERS: He broke her heart. She resolved to move on. Over the next 60 years, they both had careers, got married to other people, had kids and grandkids. And in 2021, Sneckenberger was mourning the death of his wife. And he got the urge to apologize to Matheney, whose husband died in 1986.

CHANG: So he reached out on Facebook. Matheney ignored him, but he sent more messages and tried to find her through the church where they met.

MATHENEY: And I just thought, what is with this guy? The only way I'm going to get rid of him is to meet with him and tell him to just stop this.

CHANG: And meet they did. And that's when they rekindled their old love.

SNECKENBERGER: Both of us in our own ways had lived good lives. And Priscilla particularly, what the heck did she need with another person in her life?

MATHENEY: Exactly.



SNECKENBERGER: But once I felt I had to find this lady and say I was sorry, it changed everything.

CHANG: Ed Sneckenberger and Priscilla Matheney, now in their 80s, got married last December. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Kai McNamee
[Copyright 2024 NPR]
Ivy Winfrey
Halimah Abdullah