At his sister’s wedding in Paramus, New Jersey, in 1959, Joseph Potenzano first met Mary Elkind. She was the maid of honor and he was the best man. The two hit it off and dated for a bit, but Potenzano was studying engineering and Elkind was a dancer and had an opportunity to tour with a ballet company in Europe, so their romance eventually fizzled out.
Elkind went on to marry another man and Potenzano even attended the wedding. She and her husband had three children and she settled into life as a wife and mother. Potenzano never did end up getting married, but he remained friends with Elkind and her family over the years. Then about nine years ago, Elkind’s husband passed away. After a few years had passed, Potenzano asked Elkind out for coffee and soon the two went on their first official date in over six decades.
At first, they were discreet about their fling, but started spending more and more time with one another. Eventually, Potenzano built up the nerve to ask for her hand in marriage and Elkind accepted. “I’ve always cared for Joe,” she says, adding that she’d often wondered what her life would have been like if they’d stayed together all those years ago. They have a date set for the wedding in October. At 93, Potenzano is giving up the bachelor life and settling down. After the wedding, the newlyweds will be off to Cape Cod for their honeymoon.