Former High School Crushes Get Married at 88 After Reconnecting at Their Class Reunion: ‘Let’s Do It’

Elaine Hall and Roland Passaro tied the knot Palm Coast, Florida, earlier this month surrounded by their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren

A pair classmates from the 1950s have now tied the knot — 70 years after they first developed crushes on each other.

Elaine Hall and Roland Passaro opened up to the Washington Post on Thursday about their decades-in-the-making wedding, after they wed in front of their children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren in Palm Coast, Fla. this month.

The newlyweds, both 88 years old, attended middle and high school together in Allentown, Pa., where they grew up blocks apart. They eventually reunited at their high school class’s 50th reunion in 2003, but decided to get married just months ago.

“In today’s parlance, you would say, she was hot,” Passaro, 88, told the Post of his childhood crush-turned-wife, whom he used to dance with at parties at the YMCA. “She was the smartest girl in class and knew the answer to every question.”

Adds Hall: “Roland was as handsome as could be, he was the star player, and all the girls liked him,” she recalled of the former high school athlete. “But he liked me, so that was nice.”

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While Passaro admitted that he was “too young to go steady with anyone at that age,” he eventually got married, had children, played professional baseball and later worked for a Miami airline, per the Post. Hall, on the other hand, stayed back home, worked at the local Morning Call newspaper, got married and divorced, raised three kids of her own and eventually retired at 66.

As Hall recalled, Passaro’s family “talked him into” attending the high school reunion in 2003 where they reconnected. “There was an attraction between us that night,” Hall told the Washington Post. “When I went over to say goodbye, he leaned over and gave me a kiss.”

The pair kept in touch via letters and phone calls for months, which Hall called a “magical time.” Hall eventually moved to Miami after a Christmas visit to live with her partner, per the outlet.

“We are both family-oriented,” Passaro said. “Devoted to our kids and grandkids and now our great-grandkids.”

Passaro’s son James Passaro told the outlet that the couple is “so adorable at the golf course,” where Hall tells Passaro where his ball lands because he “can’t see very well.”

Passaro was also Hall’s “rock, through the toughest period of my life,” she told the Washington Post after her 67-year-old son Robert Hall died in 2021.
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Their decision to wed only came in October 2023, when Passaro said “Let’s do it” after his soon-to-be wife asked why they hadn’t done so yet.

The March ceremony took place at the Grand Haven Amenities, where Hall’s daughters Elizabeth Zakeosian and Patricia Beals walked her down the aisle and Passaro’s sons James and Ron joined him down the aisle.

The wedding was planned by a granddaughter, and James Passaro described the ceremony as a “good climax to a great love story.”

The couple shared their first dance to “Kansas City,” a 1950s hit from the era they first danced together. As they told the Washington Post, they have “a special place in our hearts for our first big crush.”
“The thing about getting older is that very few people remember you from when you were young,” Hall said. “But I remember Rollie as the vibrant young fellow who could throw a ball as far as the eye could see.”

“And I remember how beautiful and exciting she was when she was 15, and I can say that she’s just as beautiful and exciting today,” Passaro added.

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