When it comes to love, Harry Ward and Jeanette Bowman prefer the fast lane.
Not only did they get married after dating for less than one month, it took them 19 minutes to obtain their marriage license in Warren County, exchange vows at Harmon Park and return and file the completed paperwork.
From Harry meets Jeanette to Mr. and Mrs. Ward just like that.
Maybe they were in such a hurry because Harry is 90 and Jeanette is 89. Or maybe he just couldn’t wait to kiss his bride.
Harry Ward has six children and one of his sons is John Ward, a pastor who lives in Franklin Twp. He performed the wedding ceremony, and after he pronounced them husband and wife, Harry laid a lengthy smooch on his wife.
“Don’t overdo it,” his wife said with a laugh.
John Ward said when his father applied for the marriage license, he couldn’t tell the clerk Jeanette’s middle name or her birthdate. Names and dates aren’t important, Harry Ward said. All that matters is he’s in love.
“I’ve never been this happy,” he said while sitting in his Middletown home, Jeanette only a few inches away.
“Me either,” said Jeanette, who was married for 62 years before her husband died four years ago.
Their relationship, as often is the case, started rather innocently. They both attend Dixie Highway Christian Center, and after one Sunday service, Ward stopped by the water fountain. That’s when Jeanette complimented him on his shirt.
He recognized a softball and he hit it out of the park.
“That’s a pretty dress you’re wearing,” he told her.
They saw each other at church, went on a few dates, then Ward proposed, though he doesn’t remember.
“You better remember,” his wife told him, hitting him on the leg.
John Ward eats dinner every Thursday night with her father and Harry recently asked his son who he thought was getting married.
Before he could answer, Harry said: “We are.”
“That began the shock,” John Ward said. “I left without eating dinner.”
John Ward, 62, said he quickly realized there was no sense trying to talk his father out of getting married. When you have lived to be 90, you don’t want someone to tell you who to love.
“If they’re happy,” he said, “then I’m happy.”
On Tuesday afternoon, one day after getting married, the Wards certainly acted happy. There wasn’t enough room to slide a credit card between them. Throughout the interview, they either were holding hands, she was rubbing his arm or they were kissing.
Love knows no age limit.
“It took me 90 years to find her,” he said.
When it comes to time, no one has the answer. We don’t know how much sand is left in our hour glass.
The Wards understand that “until death do us part” may be right around the corner.
“Hopefully we can get five good years together,” she said.