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High school sweethearts meet after 7 decades at school reunion and are now in love all over again

He had gifted her a priceless gem-studded bracelet when they were dating as teenagers. She kept it safe after all these years.

High school sweethearts meet after 7 decades at school reunion and are now in love all over again
Cover Image Source: Facebook | joanne.blakkan | bill.hassinger.5

Fate might have parted these lovebirds, but the 73rd version of their school reunion ended up reuniting them, and this time for good. Based in Michigan, these two high school sweethearts named Bill Hassinger and Joanne Blakkan were once caught kissing on the bus by their school principal. They started dating in 1947 when they were both students at North Muskegon High School in West Michigan. She was in her junior year and he was a freshman. And now, more than seven decades later, they are at the edge of rekindling their long-lost relationship. They had first met in their common school bus, “She would always save a seat for me,” Hassinger recalled according to The Washington Post. They parted ways after Blakkan started her college, “It was just too pretty to get rid of.” said Blakkan. After they parted ways, Hassinger went on to marry another woman and Blakkan married another man. She had three children with him, out of whom one is named as Linda. Following this life turn, Hassinger spent his days in the US Army in Salzburg, Austria. Meanwhile, Blakkan worked as an office manager for a surgeon, and later an allergist in Ann Arbor.



Fast forward to a few years, the respective partners of both had passed away. While Hassinger’s wife died in 2021, Blakkan’s husband had died in 1989. During this time, although Blakkan had heard through mutual friends that Hassinger was living in nearby Manistee and had retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Michigan State Police, she never attempted to reach out to him, thinking that he was happily married. But one thing that still reminded her of Hassinger was a sparkling jeweled bracelet that Hassinger had gifted to her during the high school period. It is a gorgeous silver bracelet studded with glittering green gems. Hassinger had gifted her this bracelet on the occasion of their school’s senior prom. But she never threw it away. She always cherished the little ornament given to her by the boy she dated. But she wasn’t looking to reunite with her beloved anyway, neither was she looking for a new date, “We went our separate ways. I had lived alone all this time, and I certainly wasn’t looking for love or a man. I was content. But he was always in the back of my mind. I loved that young boy.” she told



However, in the year 2022, destiny made them come together once again. Joanne and her daughter Linda were looking up a list of old classmates for the 73rd school reunion when Joanne wondered if she would be able to meet her old flame in this celebration. And they did meet too. At last, after a long exile lasting over seven decades, they met for lunch. Describing the experience of this date, the 90-year-old Hassinger hilariously says, “She didn't look anything like I remembered her 73 years ago. I guess life will do that to you.” Their initial flame of love was rekindled, speaking about which Blakkan says, “Believe it or not, we’re in love at our age. I want his hugs and kisses and he feels the same way. It’s just like when we were teenagers.” Their saccharine love story was first published by Good Morning America in a YouTube video showcasing the carousel of some of their photographs.



The distance between Hassinger’s and Blakkan’s residences might be over 80 miles in the present day, but the distance between their hearts has finally dissolved. “We play a lot of cards like cribbage, gin, and we work puzzles,” Hassinger says. “But most of the time we just enjoy each other’s company.“ Blakkan offers her insight by saying that they want to spend the little time left of their lives, with each other, more than anything else. “No one knows how much time you have. Both of us are in reasonably good health for our age and mentally alert. So we want to enjoy our time here."


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