Annette Adkins and Bob Harvey became high school sweethearts while dating during their junior year. Unfortunately, shortly after attending the prom together, their life paths went separate ways, resulting in the two not speaking for 64 years. Then, thanks to a twist of fate, they reconnected earlier this year. And you’ll never believe where life led these two after six decades apart…
The High School Sweethearts
The story of Bob Harvey and Annette Adkins, both now 80-years-old, could make an incredible Hollywood romance. The two met in Gar-Field High School in Virginia and dated for only a year, beginning in 1955. Adkins came from Kentucky, but her parents sent her to Gar-Field High School, where she could get a better education. When Bob first met her, he knew: “She was the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in my life. I fell madly, totally and one hundred percent in love with her. We had a wonderful junior year.”
The two even went to prom together; Annette thought she was in love, Bob was sure he was. When they posed for their prom photos, the couple had no idea that they would be the last photos they would take together for some time. Not long after prom, the relationship ended in heartbreak, as high school relationships so often do. Adkins spent the summer between her junior and senior years in Florida. During the time, the two separated, and it broke Harvey’s heart. Meanwhile, while in Florida, Adkins met another man, John Callahan, who would later become her husband in 1961. After that summer, Adkins and Harvey would not see each other for the next 64 years…
Reconnecting After More Than 60 Years
In her adult years, Adkins became a nurse in Jefferson Hospital School in Roanoke, Virginia, where she settled down with her then-husband. Over the years, the two went on to have children and raise a beautiful family. Across the state, Harvey went on to become a law enforcement officer, educator, and bailiff. Later in life, he met a woman named Diane; they married in 1959 and lived a happy life together. However, through the years apart, the two prom dates often thought of one another.
Unfortunately, each high school sweetheart experienced recent tragedies. In 2015, Adkins’ husband, John Callahan, passed away. Then, in 2017, Harvey’s wife Diane passed away after a battle with cancer. Afterward, Harvey, who is also battling cancer, decided to go traveling for a bit. While traveling, high school sweetheart kept coming up in his thoughts. “I wondered what our children would be like. A couple of months ago, she was heavy on my mind.” So then, Harvey decided to look up Adkins on Google – and found her husband’s obituary. Harvey said his heart sank – “I might have lost her again” – what if she found someone else during these four years?
From Prom to the Chapel
And so, Harvey made a donation to the unit where John Callahan was taken care of, and sent a condolence card, where he included his phone number. Eight days later – Adkins called, leaving a voice message. Harvey’s heart soared. He called her back, and the school sweethearts talked for the first time in 64 years. As it turns out, she had been thinking of him also. Not long after, Adkins asked whether he could come out to Ohio.
Three days later, Harvey showed up on Adkins’ doorway – “It felt like Hallmark,” they both said. He brought flowers. “He held my face in both his hands, and he kissed me,” said Adkins. And so, the two went on their first date together in over six decades. “I think sometimes I can’t love her more, but then there’s tomorrow.”
Harvey knew he wanted to propose, wasting little time to do so. He proposed with a vintage ring from their time together on a beautiful river beach. Adkins said yes, obviously, and they got married last month in a small, private, beautiful ceremony and will move in together to Ohio, where Adkins lives. “It’s like 1956 all over again,” the newlyweds said.