The Incredible Story Of How This Man Finally Got to Be with His Love 40 Years After Falling for Her.

Georgene Martin, formerly known as Huber, received an unexpected delivery of red roses one day in January 1999, a few months after her husband passed away. The flowers did not come as a complete surprise given the circumstances, but it was the name on the card that caught her off guard: Jerry Zimmerman. Georgene had last seen Jerry’s name in her high school yearbook from 1965, and she did not recall knowing him back then.

Jerry’s note explained that he was a former classmate who had been infatuated with Georgene but was too shy to approach her. He wrote,

“I was painfully shy, and you were the prettiest girl I had ever seen.”

Georgene still lived in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where they had attended Farnsworth Junior High School nearly 40 years earlier.

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In 1999, Georgene Martin received a surprise delivery of red roses along with a note from Jerry Zimmerman, a former classmate from Farnsworth Junior High School. Although Georgene barely remembered Jerry, he expressed his interest in meeting up for coffee during his upcoming visit to Sheboygan. Despite her recent loss, Georgene agreed to meet with him that spring.

Jerry had been infatuated with Georgene since ninth grade, but his shyness had prevented him from speaking to her until their junior year in high school. One morning, he spotted her walking with a friend and impulsively offered them a ride to school.

Although Georgene’s response to Jerry’s letter was positive, she had no idea that he had been heartbroken by her all those years ago.

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Georgene and her friend hopped into the front seat, with Jerry nervously seated next to the beautiful girl he had long admired. Despite his deep desire to impress her, Jerry couldn’t summon the words to break the ice, so he didn’t even introduce himself. After arriving at school, his passengers thanked him and departed.

All day long, Jerry mulled over his next move. His plan was straightforward: After school, he would drive around until he spotted Georgene walking home. Then, just as he had done earlier that day, he would offer her a ride. She would accept, sit beside him once more, and they would live happily ever after, he thought.

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At the end of the school day, Jerry raced to the parking lot and began driving around the school. He soon spotted Georgene walking with the same friend from that morning. Jerry pulled over and rolled down the window.

“Fancy another ride?” he asked.

Georgene looked at him. “No, we’re going to walk.”

Jerry was heartbroken when Georgene refused his offer for another ride, unable to believe that the girl he had been pining for all these years was not interested in him. Things took a turn for the worse when he learned that she was engaged during their senior year, which made it clear that he had missed his chance.

Jerry and Georgene with their granddaughters
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After high school, Jerry found work as a delivery person for an electrical and plumbing wholesaler, a job he enjoyed until he suffered a back injury in 1983. He was forced to do desk work, which he hated, and his divorce and the loss of his father added to his misery.

One evening, Jerry stumbled upon an ad in the Sheboygan Press for the University of Wisconsin, which asked, “Do you want to improve your life?” The ad suggested meeting with one of the college’s counselors at the local library, which Jerry did. By the end of their meeting, Jerry had signed up for two classes, though he was skeptical that more education would help him. Nevertheless, he enjoyed his coursework and eventually earned a degree in physical geography.

“Have you seen Georgene lately?” Frank asked.

“No, not at all,” Jerry replied.

“Her husband died.”

Jerry relocated to Spokane, Washington and started working as a cartographer in the mapping department of the U.S. Geological Survey. Later, he received a promotion and began working in the mapping agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, located in Washington, DC.

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Jerry had a hard time adjusting to his new surroundings in the capital city. Coming from a farm, he was used to wide-open spaces and grazing animals, but found himself surrounded by politics and heavy traffic. He missed Wisconsin and would call home every week, returning twice a year for his birthday and Christmas. On these visits, Jerry would sometimes drive by Georgene’s house to catch a glimpse of her. He still felt too shy to approach her and instead would search for her name in the local phone book, always finding it next to her husband’s.

Jerry got married and divorced a second time, and neither of his ex-wives knew about his feelings for Georgene, although his friends in Wisconsin did. On a visit back home in December of 1998, Jerry met up with his friend Frank Cooper.

After a year-long battle with a brain tumor, Georgene’s husband passed away, leaving her as his caretaker throughout his illness. Jerry had to return to Washington, but before leaving town, he stopped at a local florist to send Georgene a bouquet of roses. Despite not wanting to appear insensitive, he wrote a note expressing his warm feelings for her and left his shyness behind.

Jerry eagerly awaited his next trip home in May and was delighted to learn that Georgene was interested in getting together. They spoke for more than an hour on the phone, and Jerry came home that spring for a brief weekend visit, finally going on his first date with the woman he had been infatuated with for over 35 years.

Despite the passage of time, Georgene’s beauty remained unchanged. She noticed that Jerry had become slimmer since they last saw each other, and their reunion was not like something out of Hollywood, but for both of them, the connection was intense. While Jerry had longed for Georgene for decades, Georgene had been praying for companionship since her husband’s death.

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Their coffee date went exceptionally well, and they made plans to see each other again when Jerry returned to Wisconsin for a longer visit in July.

During his ten-day visit to Wisconsin that summer, Jerry spent every moment with Georgene, going on daily walks in the park or along the western banks of Lake Michigan. Jerry felt his heart was at the lake, alongside Georgene. On one of their walks, Jerry mustered the courage to confess his love for Georgene and proposed to her. It was unexpected, but Georgene knew he was the one and said yes. Jerry was overjoyed to finally have two yeses after all these years.

Jerry’s trip to Washington became his last, as he quit his job with the government and moved back to Wisconsin to be with Georgene. After 40 years of waiting, they finally tied the knot, and their love story was shared with their wedding guests.

But, their journey was not without challenges. Jerry developed a limp, which he and Georgene knew was Parkinson’s disease. Despite the debilitating symptoms, they continue to love each other and cherish their time together. They are grateful for what they have and find comfort in their faith.

 

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