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Many say that love finds you when you least expect it, and Pat and Noel Pittman, residents of Presbyterian Village North (PVN), know firsthand that it’s true. They grew up together, their parents knew each other, and the two went to school together all the way from elementary school to high school.  They went to the same church and frequented the same hangouts all through their school years, but they ultimately parted ways and lived separate lives. Both Pat and Noel married, had children, moved to different states and eventually came back to Texas. They were both widowed when a mutual friend reestablished contact between the two in 2008. Noel was living at PVN, and Pat had a house in Bedford when they decided to meet for coffee. Little did they know that the coffee date would soon lead to marriage, and that this year, they would celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary.

 

“A mutual friend who was my best friend and one of Pat’s bridesmaids reached out to both of us in 2008, asking if we remembered each other and if we would be interested in meeting,” said Noel. “We both expressed interest and set up our first date in Bedford where we met for coffee that November. It was a little awkward at first, seeing as we hadn’t seen each other in more than 50 years, but conversation came pretty easily after a few minutes and we picked up right where we left off.”

 

“If I had run into Noel prior to our coffee date, I would not have known who he was after all those years,” said Pat. “We have both changed quite a bit in appearance, but our personalities are very much the same. We hit it off immediately, due to our background and common core. After that initial meeting, we started meeting up in Grapevine for movies and sandwiches. The first time I asked Noel to meet me in Grapevine, we couldn’t find each other! After waiting for several minutes, I called him to see where he was, and he said that he was right out front, and I said that I was right out front, too. Then we figured out that he was at the wrong theater. I’ll never forget, during one of those first few movie outings, when Noel grabbed my hand for the first time. I felt butterflies that I hadn’t felt in years. It was like I was floating.”

 

Neither Pat nor Noel was looking for love or had even thought about the possibility of finding it after their spouses had passed away. It caught them both off guard and swept them away. One Sunday, after attending a play, Noel suggested taking Pat to La Kostas on lower Greenville, where they had a lovely dinner. At the end of the evening, Noel pulled out a ring and proposed to Pat, who gladly accepted his proposal. Noel had talked to his children prior to proposing, and they were fully supportive of the marriage. Knowing he had their support and love made him feel grateful.

 

“We were married in Pat’s church, Hurst Christian Church, on July 18, 2009,” said Noel. “Pat has been supportive of me and has created a loving home for us both at PVN. She moved to the Village after the wedding, and we have been happily involved in our community ever since. I am the president of the resident council, and she devotes time to volunteering at the Village pantry and participates in a sewing group that makes handmade items for charity. Last year, her group donated more than 5,000 blankets, baby booties and hats, dolls, animals and more to people in need. I’m really proud of her work. We both sing in our church choir and tutor at Stults Road Elementary School as well. We both take great pleasure in giving back to our community.”

 

“I love the fact that Noel loves God like I do, and I think that common faith and values have brought us closer together,” said Pat. “We find joy in giving back to others, respect each other and have a beautiful marriage because of this shared faith. For Valentine’s Day, we plan to attend a special party at our church and have fellowship with our friends. Love is a funny thing. If you’re lucky, it will find you when you least expect it. You don’t have to go seeking it. Focus on yourself, and when you radiate the happiness that comes from being content with who you are, someone will notice your happiness and it will be contagious to them.”

 

Pat and Noel will celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary this year and plan to go on a river cruise to celebrate. They both love music and traveling, so they thought this would combine their two passions to make for a very special trip. As for advice to give other couples, the Pittmans suggest that people do not sweat the small stuff and focus their energy on the bigger, more important issues, milestones and challenges. They also say you cannot stop giving 100 percent in a marriage, so always plan on putting in your all.

 

“The Pittmans are proof that it is never too late to find love,” said Ron Kelly, executive director at Presbyterian Village North. “We love hearing the residents’ stories, as each one is unique and filled with special memories. Whether they have been married for five years or fifty, the tales of love are always inspiring and heartwarming. We hope that all of our residents have an extraordinary Valentine’s Day and get to spend it with those they love the most.”

 

Photos courtesy of Presbyterian Village North

Photo 1: Noel and Pat Pittman, residents of Presbyterian Village North, enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner with fellow residents at the community.

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