A 98-year-old woman who wed a 94-year-old man has everyone believing in love.
Meet newlyweds Gertrude Mokotoff and Alvin Mann, whose wedding was featured Friday in the Vows section of the New York Times, to the delight of the internet.
— Alexandra De Luca (@AlexDe_Luca) August 11, 2017
Just call me "young NYT vows article about two nonagenarians finding love"
— Hannah Dunn (@hblythed) August 11, 2017
The NYT vows column kills me. She’s 98. He’s 94. They met at the gym. He told their love story after chopping wood. https://t.co/qYkIHY94zS
— Yonette Joseph (@YonetteJo) August 11, 2017
The sprightly couple was introduced eight years ago at a gym in Middletown, N.J. “A mutual friend said to me, ‘I’d like you to meet a very nice young lady,’” Mann told the New York Times, “after chopping wood one recent morning…”
Reflecting on their first meal together at local restaurant Something Sweet, Mokotoff, who was Middletown’s first female mayor (she served two terms) told the Times of her date, “He was a perfect gentleman.”
She’s 98. And he’s 94. Gertrude Mokotoff and Alvin Mann were introduced 8 years ago at a gym in Middletown, New York, where they still work out twice a week. “I kept getting teased about dating a cougar,” Alvin said. “But the age difference never really bothered me because we just hit it off, and I wasn’t about to let her go.” In June, after one of their many late-night drives home from the @metopera in Manhattan, Gertrude decided to buck tradition. “I asked him to marry me,” she said with a chuckle. “I was tired of chasing after him.” Both widowed from previous marriages, they have 7 children, 12 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren between them. “Age doesn’t mean a damn thing to me or to Gert,” Alvin said. “We don’t see it as a barrier. We still do what we want to do in life.” What keeps them young? “Of course, one part of it is medical science,” Alvin told @nytimes. “But the bigger part is that we live worry-free lives; we do not let anything we cannot control bother us in the least.” @justin.gilliland photographed their wedding earlier this month.
A post shared by The New York Times (@nytimes) on Aug 11, 2017 at 1:31pm PDT
Mann, a businessman and the oldest person to graduate from Mount St. Mary College, was unfazed by their May to December romance. “I kept getting teased about dating a cougar,” he said. “But the age difference never really bothered me because we just hit it off, and I wasn’t about to let her go.”
However it was Mokotoff who truly broke barriers with a marriage proposal one night after driving home from New York City. “I asked him to marry me,” she told the Times. “I was tired of chasing after him.”
On August 5, two weeks of ahead of Mokotoff’s 99th birthday, the pair wed at Middletown City Hall before 50 guests, Mokotoff holding a bouquet of white roses while she walked down the aisle to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
During the ceremony, Mann couldn’t resist sharing an anecdote about the couple’s first time getting intimate. “We had spent the whole day together, and at night, I set up the bedroom for her, and I was going to be in the next room,” he told the Times. “She gets into the bed, and I say good night and start walking out, and she says, ‘Where are you going?’”
Mann’s neighbor also lovingly described the couple: “This man is 94 years old, and I see him outside chopping down trees, dragging logs out of the woods with his old Ford tractor, stacking firewood and cutting the grass. Then I see him and Gert running around like two high school sweethearts, holding hands and kissing, and driving to New York City on weekends. If I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I wouldn’t believe it.”
The wedding reception was held at a nearby inn where Mokotoff pulled up her skirt to flash her garter belt. “Very nice,” Mann said, according to the Times. “I must admit I like it.”
The couple is one of many examples of those who found love late in life. In July, the story of 70-year-old Murphy Wilson and his 67-year-old bride, Lucinda Myers, went viral after the groom’s daughter posted their exuberant engagement photos on Instagram, including one of him holding up a sign that read, “She said YES!!!”
A post shared by Murphy & Lucinda (@never2latecouple) on Jun 28, 2017 at 1:10pm PDT
Their Huntsville, Ala., nuptials also made headlines for these adorable anecdotes: When Myers walked down the aisle, Wilson became so stunned by the sight of his bride that the pastor had to intervene by saying, “Go get her!” Their wedding kiss also lasted nearly 90 seconds.
Murphy and Lucinda had theeee longest wedding kiss ever!! Then they followed it up with another one right before the pastor announced them husband and wife! The pastor wasn't ready at all! Lol! Photos by: Norman Usher #murphyandlucinda
A post shared by Gianna Snell Photography (@gianna_snell_photography) on Aug 3, 2017 at 12:26am PDT
In April, 89-year-old Doris Ladner and 84-year-old Robert Holler got married at the same Mississippi nursing home at which they met. Staff said the pair, who both use wheelchairs, always held hands and that Holler brings Ladner a cup of coffee each morning.
Robert Holler(84) and Doris Ladner(89) found love in the nursing home. Today, they were married with friends and family in attendance pic.twitter.com/gaRM9DdzIU
— Dave Ryan (@DaveRyanWLOX) April 22, 2017
And in 2016, less than a year after they met at a Miami nursing home, Maria Teresa Cobar, 80, and Carlos Suarez, 90, tied the knot. The pair had a whirlwind courtship filled with arts and crafts activities, dancing (with Suarez in his wheelchair), and watching sunsets. Cobar told Today that her groom was someone “worth waiting for.”
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