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Love A Second Time

They said 'I Do' this past year, both in their 80s

"I didn't know it could be like this," Peggy Simpson, 82, says of her new husband, Jerry ---- , 88. 

The two went to church together for decades, even living on the same street when their children were growing up. Both had taken care of spouses that passed. After Jerry's wife died he called Peggy to get a tour of Fleming Farms. He actually moved into Brookdale, but when Fleming Farms' Valentine's dance was approaching, Peggy called to ask him if he would like to go. From their they began going to lunch and dinner regularly.

"I didn't go out to get him," Peggy asserts and smiles. "He just kept coming over and coming over."

"We liked going to get 50 cent hot dogs at the bistro," Jerry interjects."We just kept seeing each other."

Peggy remembers, "I said to him one night after we had been seeing each other awhile, I don't remember my exact words but basically, You need to marry me or leave alone."

After years of living alone and cooking for her children every Sunday, Peggy decided it was time to move into a retirement community. Her son Derek found Fleming Farms.

Jerry, a retired UAH professor, chose Brookdale, but then found himself frequenting Fleming Farms to have hot dogs with Peggy.

They decided they wanted to get married and were having a problem reserving the church. Whitesburg Baptist wasn't available until September. So on April 9, 2023, Peggy Simpson and Jerry ___ said I do at her son Derek's law office downtown with Judge Billy Bell officiating. 

Now married and living together at Fleming Farms, they go on weekend trips together and find themselves enjoying the small every day things too. Peggy says, "We watch a lot of television and football games. We love watching movies together."

"I was married to my first husband for 53 years. but there wasn't anything we agreed on, including TV," she continues, "Jerry and I have a lot of things in common that are just really sweet."

When asked what advice they may have for other older couples Jerry says, "When you're older you just have to realize that both of you are set in your ways. So you need to be tolerant of each other and understanding."

"It's been an interesting time but there hasn't been a bad day," Peggy turns to Jerry, "I haven't had a bad day, have you?"

Jerry pauses jokingly and then smiles and laughs making Peggy laugh too. "There hasn't been a bad day and our first argument was right before you got here when we couldn't remember if our first date was the Valentine's dance or Top O' The River in Guntersville."

When Jerry married Peggy he also married into a big family, Peggy says, "All my children and their mates think it's the most wonderful thing because they haven't had a daddy or granddaddy in their life for awhile."

When asked what love means at this age, Peggy smiles and without hesitation states, "To me it means Jerry is mine and I can claim him as my man. I just love him and want to do things for him." 

"I knew who she was and all about her because we've known each other for so long. And things just kind of grew from there," Jerry reflects on why it was easy to fall in love with Peggy. "After caring for her husband for so long and seeing all the work she did for him, I felt like she needed someone to be there for her and stir her around. I felt like I was just the man to do that."

"To me it means Jerry is mine and I can claim him as my man. I just love him and want to do things for him."