Elmus found Gladys (Sue) on ChristianMingle.com.
Normally there’s nothing out of the ordinary about two people meeting on an online dating site – especially one that’s founded on the principles of common religious beliefs and traditions, like Christianity.
It’s different when said couple is 86.
When Sue’s husband and Elmus’ wife both died in the summer of 2008, church-going friends encouraged Elmus to explore the Internet for potential companionship. At the same time, Sue’s late husband’s insurance company continued to suggest the use of online dating sites via snail mail correspondence.
Sure enough, both decided to try their luck on the World Wide Web. Elmus gave one or two dating sites a shot but, unfortunately, they seemed to only connect him with women who were, as they say, geographically undesirable. It was only when he saw Sue’s profile, noting that she was from Rainbow City, that he decided to send her an email. “She e-mailed me back, and so we got acquainted,” he said.
It was soon thereafter—only a week after talking on the phone, in fact—that Sue and Elmus decided to meet. The courtship progressed and it was Sue who, once again breaking the dating mold, proposed to Elmus over Thanksgiving of that year. Forget the fact that he turned her down initially, admitting that he was still grieving for his wife. Two months later Sue got the surprise she’d been waiting for when Elmus publicly announced, from the top of the church pulpit, that the two were going to be married.
“She doesn’t mind telling people that she begged me to marry her,” Elmus said, laughing.
And frankly, Elmus is now thankful for her persistence; he beams every time she enters the room.
Both Elmus and Sue admit that they don’t know anyone who really uses the Internet, at all, let alone to check out who’s on an online dating site like ChristianMingle. But that doesn’t make them so strange. “It just goes to show you’re never too old to try new things,” said Michael Porter, Sue’s 13-year-old great-nephew from Huntsville, who was a guest at the wedding.
“I’ve never even heard of anyone 86 years old getting married,” Elmus said, laughing at the unusual circumstances surrounding his courtship and wedding. “But she’s in good health, and mine, as far as I know, is perfect.”