AUSTIN — Meet Martha and Grady Waggener. They first met at Stephenville High School in 1947. They were friends who hid their secret crushes from each other.
In high school they were buddies, but nothing more. “We liked each other a lot, but we didn’t date. I actually had a really bad crush on him,” said Martha Waggener.
Eventually they moved away, married other people, had children, and led happy lives. They didn't get back in touch until 51 years later when Martha found Grady Waggener's email in a school directory.
"So I emailed him and he emailed me right back. We did that a few times and decided the phone would be easier talked on the phone a bunch of times. Then [we traveled] up and down I-35 from Fort Worth to Austin and Austin to Fort Worth,” said Martha Waggener.
Those visits sparked a new interest in love decades after these two were classmates. The Waggener’s realized life would be more meaningful together, than apart.
"We fully believe we were led to be together. As Christ followers we believe that,” said Grady Waggener. Less than a year after they reunited, they got married in Salado surrounded by family.
“We don’t believe things like that are coincidences when they are related to your life’s plan, " said Grady Waggener.
Now they live at Buckner Villas, a senior living facility in Austin where they stay active together.
“There are so many activities here that we do. They have a heated pool. We do water volleyball and play Wii bowling," said Martha Waggener.
Together these two 80-year-olds have four children, 14 grandkids and seven great grandkids.
Former classmates and friends, now husband and wife, that took 51 years in the making.