Awww: 66 Years Later, These High School Sweethearts Finally Attend Their Dream Prom

Some things are better late than never.

high-school-sweethearts-prom-kingCourtesy Hillsborough County Aging Services

Even though Ralph and LaVerne Wozniak have been married for over 60 years, Ralph has always had one regret: He never got to ask her to the senior prom.

When the Wozniaks first met as teenagers, the nation was in the thick of World War II, and money and resources for a high school prom were scarce. Even though the teens attended different high schools, neither school hosted a senior dance that year. Then, Ralph, a member of the Marine Corps, was deployed overseas before he could earn his diploma.

“That really put the snap on it that I wasn’t going to go to any prom,” Ralph said. The couple was crushed.

After the war, Ralph returned to school to attain his GED at a local high school, but he knew he had already missed the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at a senior prom. Still, the Wozniaks enjoyed the moments they could dance together—prom or not.

“We’re Polish and we love to polka, “ LaVerne, 87, told ABC News affiliate WFTS.

prom-king-and-his-wifeCourtesy Hillsborough County Aging Services

The next time the couple shared a special dance was on their wedding day in 1949. Just weeks later, Ralph received the news that he would be deployed again, this time to serve in the Korean War.

“When we got married, we got a letter in the mail because he was still in the reserves,” LaVerne told ABC News. “It was really heartbreaking.”

In the years that followed, the couple raised four children, watching in envy as each of them donned fancy dresses and tuxedoes, slipped into limousines, and attended beautiful proms of their own. “Why the hell couldn’t we go to the prom?” Ralph joked.

high-school-sweethearts-prom-king-speechCourtesy Hillsborough County Aging Services

Last June, the Wozniaks’ dream came true when Hillsborough County Aging Services hosted its own “Senior Prom.” It was the opportunity the couple had waited 66 years for, and they spared no expense. On the special night, Ralph wore a grey jacket and shiny black bow tie, while LaVerne turned heads in a gorgeous gold gown—with matching nails, of course.

To make the night even more perfect, Ralph was crowned prom king after his name was drawn out of a hat. That moment alone marked the whole experience as one to remember for the Wozniaks.

“Since 1944 when I joined the Marine Corps until this date today I never thought I’d be a king, and here I am a king,” Ralph beamed.

Overwhelmed with joy, LaVerne dashed to center stage to give her husband a kiss. “I said, ‘That’s my husband, that’s the king,’” LaVerne told WFTS. “It gave the people of our age the feeling of being young again.”

MORE: How Do You Make a Room Full of 90-Year-Olds Feel 18? Ask Them To Dance

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest