Friends Make Pact To Marry at 50 if Still Single, Make Good on Word Decades Later


Each relationship is unique and exciting in its own way. It’s important to reflect on all the memories you had together and look forward to making new ones.

The story of Elmer and Fran Armstrong illustrates this perfectly. When they were celebrating 55 years of marriage, they returned to recreate a picture at a Steak ‘n’ Shake to commemorate their first date at a Missouri Steak ‘n’ Shake in March of 1962.

Kimberley Dean, 51, and Ron Palmer, 54, have been friends for decades. For them, they had a lot to reflect on.

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They met in high school and dated as a freshman and senior before Palmer cut things off.

“After high school, I wanted to go sow my oats. I thought at that young age, girls were a dime a dozen and I could get along with anybody — so we broke up,” Palmer said. “But we broke up on good terms. We remained friends.”

They had such a good relationship that they would call each other up whenever they had experienced a breakup. After one call specifically, they made a deal with each other.

“It was something along the lines, since she’s 2 and a half years younger, ‘Once you hit 50, if we’re both single, maybe we should try this again,'” Palmer said.

They were both divorced, and Dean herself had two children. They even discussed their work-related benefits and leaving inheritances.

“It was a complete joke. We were both single at the time and we were just both fed up with dating and all the craziness that goes with that,” Dean remembered.

As time passed, they never went more than six months without speaking to one another. They remained good friends but forgot about the pact. Palmer would sometimes watch Dean’s kids and often took them camping.

“That’s the kind of friendship we have. ‘If you need something, I’m there for you.’ It’s always been that way for us,” Dean said. “We’ve always clicked.”

By 2016, Dean and Palmer decided to become a couple once again. On New Year’s Eve, a year later, Palmer proposed.

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On June 1, the couple got married in front of a waterfall in a garden ceremony. Dean chose her daughter as her maid-of-honor, and her son walked her down the aisle. Dean admits that the cliche phrase, “I married my best friend,” is completely applicable to her marriage.

She said, “We’re like yin and yang. We kind of complete each other. We’ve always been there for each other. He’s consoled me; I’ve consoled him. He’s watched my kiddos grow up.”

Palmer readily agreed, saying, “One hundred percent. We started out as friends, we fell in love and we parted as friends, but we still cared for each other. I’ve always loved her because she’s such an awesome friend.”

Dean added that people like to tease them about how long it took them to get married.

“Everybody jokes, ‘Well, it’s about dang time.’ We waited a long time to finally get to this point. Everything you go through to get to here was worth it. I just wish it could have been a little earlier,” she said. “What can I say? I love him. I’m head over heels.”

I think we can say that the nation is “head over heels” for this beautiful relationship. And Dean’s daughter, Kayla, confirmed the couple’s love.

“People who are meant to be together will always find each other. It may take 37 years, but it can happen,” Kayla said.

Congratulations to this couple! We wish them all the best in their marriage.

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Erin Shortall is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Grove City College. She has a passion for homeless ministry in her home city of Philadelphia, PA.
Erin Shortall is an editorial intern for The Western Journal. She is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree at Grove City College. She has a major in English, minors in both Writing and Communication Studies, and a Technical Writing concentration. She is currently working on designing and writing a book of poetry to financially support a new homeless ministry of Grove City, PA called Beloved Mercy Ministry. In her spare time, she loves to sing, play piano, exercise, traverse cities, and find the cutest coffee shops. She also has a passion for homeless ministry in her home city of Philadelphia, PA.
Philadelphia, PA
Scholarship of Academic Achievement and Moral Character
Grove City College
Grove City, PA
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
Visual Design, Document Design, Technical Communication, Literature, Computer Ethics