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Love is ageless! Great-grandmother ties the knot after finding ‘the one’ at the age of 93 following her belief that she would be single for the rest of her life

By Nora Satrun and Josh Saunders

A great-grandmother has tied the knot after finding ‘the one’ at the age of 93 following her belief that she would be single for the rest of her life.

Dorothy Williams from Macomb, Michigan, USA, met now-husband Richard Rola, 86, after he was invited to join her family polka dancing three-years-ago.

Her son John recognized that Richard was a ‘really nice guy’ and could be a ‘nice friend’ for his mother, while providing a roofing work estimate.

The pensioner pair hit it off immediately with Dorothy claiming to know how special he was within four months of their relationship.

Over a year-and-a-half into dating, while on a holiday with her family after Dorothy confessed her feelings and told Richard how special he was to her, he decided to propose.

Richard, a former IBM worker said: “I just could not believe how much Dorothy and I matched each other on so many levels.

“Then, one day, she told me how much she enjoyed being with me. And, she said she wished she could always be with me.

“When she let me know how she felt about me, it was like somebody had hit me with a sledgehammer.


“I knew right away, what I was going to do. That was all I needed. 

“I was so happy, that I decided at that very moment, that I was going out the very next day and buy her a ring.”

With the approval of her family spurring him on, Richard decided to pop the question at a restaurant on the vacation.

As part of his plan to surprise Dorothy, he distracted her claimed to have dropped a coin on the floor and for her to move over before asking for her hand in marriage.

Richard said: “She did move over and that is when I got down on one knee and I proposed to her.

PICS BY NORA SATRUN / CATERS NEWS: Polka dancing on their wedding day, here is Dorothy and Richard

“She said, ‘yes,’ and, ever since then, I have been as happy as anyone could ever be.

“It was so wonderful, because everyone was in on it, except her.”

Prior to meeting Richard, the great-grandmother thought she would never find love again after being widowed for more than two decades.

Little did she know, her son would be the one to rekindle romance in her life.

Commenting on the proposal, former-waitress Dorothy said: “I was shocked, surprised. No! Shocked. I never expected it. It felt wonderful. Just wonderful.

“I never thought that this would happen to me.”


Dorothy’s son John, who set the pair up, says he was surprised they got on so well and ‘couldn’t be happier’ about the pension-age pair falling in love.

John said: “He seemed like a really nice guy. As we talked, I found out that we were both Polish. And, I kind of thought he would be a nice friend for my mother.

“I told him that my wife Beth and I, and my mother went Polka dancing in Marysville each week. I invited him to join us. He did.

“He and my mother hit it off right away. And, after a while, he asked my mother to marry him.”

Last month, Dorothy wearing a pink short dress with a sheer pink overlay and golden gym shoes with sequins walked down the aisle at Zuccaros Banquet Hall.

During the ceremony, Rola promised to love Dorothy for “all the days” of his remaining life.

PICS BY NORA SATRUN / CATERS NEWS: Richard from his younger years

Dorothy explained how she had never met anyone so accepting of her.

Pastor Jill Hardt Zundel, of Central Methodist Church in Detroit, said: “All the previous moments of the couple’s lives led up to this moment of love and joy.”

After exchanging vows before a crowd of 200 family and friends, the couple followed Polish traditions by adding symbolic headwear and danced to both slow and fast polka.

Dorothy donned a ribbon of flowers in her hair which suggests ‘blooming youth’ in their beliefs and Richard wore a white gentleman’s hat, which symbolises a wish for a ‘lifetime of happiness and laughter’.

Richard added: “Everyone just says that we were meant to be together, and, I think they were right. It was almost like we are the same.

“At first, I went to the club, because of John’s invitation. But then, after a month, I joined the club. I enjoyed the activities.

PICS BY NORA SATRUN / CATERS NEWS: Richard and one of the family members

“I liked the people and I liked the bands and the dancing and, how these people were so lively.”

Dorothy offers hope and a small word of advice to others in later life who believe they will never find love again.

She said: “There is always a chance. Never give up.”

The couple who now live together in Richard’s home, have 13 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren between them. 

Nicole Williams, the mother of Dorothy’s great-grandchild, Evangeline, described the pair as like ‘peanut butter and jelly’.

Barbara Versical, Dorothy’s daughter, said: “I am glad they found each other. They are like teenagers, laughing, all the time. This is a blessing.”

“I have never seen my grandmother so happy,” said Julia Sarotte, Dorothy’s granddaughter.

PICS BY NORA SATRUN / CATERS NEWS : Dorothy with ceremonial hat

Mark, Rola’s eldest son, who gave a toast at the wedding, said: “I am happy for them. I think it is good for them and maybe they will live longer.

“It’s such a special story. A guy comes to give you a quote to fix your roof and you end up marrying his mother.

“Everyone loves the story, and everyone wanted to be invited to the wedding.

“I was at Costco picking up the cake, and when the people there heard the story, even they asked if they could be invited to the wedding.”

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