No age limit on love80-year-olds John Scheving, LaVonne Montgomery tie the knot
The couple, who were two-year sweethearts at defunct Grand Forks St. James High School, prove that romantic love stories aren’t just for the young. Scroll down to see video from the wedding ceremony.
By: Ryan Bakken, Grand Forks Herald
Romantic love stories aren’t just for the young. Eighty-somethings John Scheving and LaVonne “Tiny” Montgomery proved that Friday night in a marriage ceremony that made the cute-meter go tilt.
So, too, the sentimental-meter.
However, the 15-minute ceremony at the Grand Forks Clarion Inn prompted far more laughs than tears, although some of the 120 guests dabbed at their eyes. The vast majority of the guests were relatives as the newlyweds have a combined total of 16 children, 48 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.
Homage also was given to their deceased first spouses — Bob Montgomery, who died 19 years ago and Ann Scheving, who died two years ago, a month shy of their 60th anniversary. The families apparently already have melded, as robust cheers came from opposite sides of the aisle when each family was announced.
The Rev. Mike Montgomery, LaVonne’s son, presided with a dry, deadpan humor that further lightened the mood. After instructing the couple to respond with the words “I do” during the vows, his mother answered with “I will.”
Without pause, Mike added: “That’s good enough for me.”
Mike also told the couple’s story in the program. They were two-year sweethearts at defunct Grand Forks St. James High School. But the relationship ended when John, one year older, joined the Army. LaVonne and Bob then married and created a family that is prominent in Grand Forks for athletics and ownership of Southgate.
Even though the two families had neighboring Maple Lake cabins, the former couple never socialized. That changed in April 2010, when John called LaVonne to ask her to lunch.
Not one to mince words, LaVonne first had a question: “What do you look like?” Earlier this week, she explained her question this way: “I couldn’t remember what he looked like. I didn’t want to climb into a car with the wrong guy.”
They soon learned that they had something important in common — large, closely knit families. That proved to be a relationship magnet.
“I saw the close relationship he had with his children and it made me want to be a part of it,” said LaVonne, 81. “I admired their family and how much they thought of each other. And I’ve always really liked being a part of a big family.”
John, 82, said they had even more in common. “We were in the same boat, lonely with lost spouses and with a bunch of kids. It was nice to have someone to share life with again.”
Plus, he joked, “She has a winter home in Arizona and a nice car.”
They also share a keen sense of humor. “We already have enough kids,” she said. “That’s good because we’re not having any more.”
Children in both families initially had some reservations when learning about the engagement. But they were convinced after seeing them together.
“I’m happy for them because being together makes them so happy,” son Scott Scheving said.
“We’re elated to see mom smile so much and be so fulfilled,” daughter Nancy Endres said. “Johnny treats her like a queen.”
Wearing a white hat with a black band, the bride looked somewhat like Queen Elizabeth. That was fitting because she’s long been referred to by her children as the “queen mother.”
Together, the diminutive queen and her diminutive king may stand 10 feet. But the joy on their faces as they left the altar arm-in-arm showed that romance has neither height limits nor age limits.