Dennis and Diane met in San Fernando, California, at the tender age of 13. They had homeroom together at Sun Valley Junior High.
“That was actually the only class that we were in together and we just got to know each other,” Dennis Reynolds told People.
Diane remembers that day well, recalling that he’d moved from Oregon and that his accent was “kind of cute.”
By 15, the two were an official item, going to movies, holding hands and making plans. Just five months after graduating from high school, the two were wed.
In 1962, they welcomed baby Curtis, and the following year Keith joined them. But it wasn’t long before there was trouble in paradise.
The young family wasn’t moneyed, and oftentimes the two were not on the same page. They decided it would be best to go their separate ways.
“We didn’t have very much money, so we really couldn’t do anything,” Diane said. “There wasn’t the fun that we have now or in high school. We did a lot of drifting apart because he was gone a lot, working and going to school. He’d come home and I’d be all chatty Cathy … and he was tired and that wasn’t his interest.”
“There was just a breaking point,” Dennis agreed. “Reality set in. … There wasn’t a hassle or a fight or anything. We needed to go our separate ways.”
So in 1965, the couple divorced. Dennis remarried twice, though he suffered the loss of both wives. He also served in the Vietnam War and lived parts of his life in Arkansas and Arizona before settling in Nevada.
Diane remarried once, had four kids and lived in Los Angeles until her husband died in 1981. She then moved to Washington, D.C.
Twice, Dennis and Diane were brought together by tragic circumstances, both involving their sons.
In 1989, at age 25, their youngest died by suicide after contracting AIDS. They lost their eldest at 38 in 2001, after surgeries to address military-related injuries.
Then in July 2019, Diane fell and had a hard time recovering. She went on disability and prayed for a change.
“I wasn’t recuperating very well, and I said, ‘God, I’d like to have a relationship with somebody,'” she said. “And the next day, Dennis called me.
“I said, ‘God, couldn’t you have done a little better than that?'”
“She’s the mother of my children,” Dennis said to explain why he felt compelled to call. “I grew up with her … so I did have deep inset emotions about her. And I was kind of curious — I’m here by myself and I don’t like to be by myself — and I said, ‘Well, I’m going to give her a call.'”
The calls continued and eventually Diane visited Dennis for a few days. Months later, she moved in.
“We get along so well,” says Diane. “We have a good time. We laugh a lot.”
“He just really melted my heart. Call it fate, call it whatever you want, but we just feel like it was probably meant to be.”
“We had really both been adamant [that] we’re not ever going to get married again,” she added. “We’ve had enough of all that.”
While they didn’t want to go through the whole marriage thing again, they changed their minds and were remarried in November 2020, nearly 55 years after getting divorced, on what would have been their 59th wedding anniversary.
The 77-year-olds now live in Las Vegas and are working on building Diane’s dream house.
Though Diane may have questioned God’s wisdom in sending Dennis back to her, she now believes he “did a good job.”
And Dennis? Well, it was pretty straightforward for him: “I never stopped loving her.”
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