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Engagement Rings Reunite Wartime Sweethearts—65 Years Later

By  , Friday, March 30, 2012

Engagement Ring Reunites Wartime Sweethearts
Time  is not a barrier to loving heart

It was the summer of 1943. Despite the war raging across the world, David Kershaw of New Jersey managed to find some happiness—in the form of Jeanne Walker, a girl from his neighborhood. A year into the relationship, he was drafted into the United States Army, where he served from 1944 until 1946. At the end of the war, Private Kershaw met a Polish jeweler who had recently been released from a wartime concentration camp—the two became friends, and as a thank-you gift, the jeweler took two silver dollars Kershaw had and fashioned them into two simple rings, inscribed with “I Love you always and forever” .


After he returned home, Kershaw presented Walker with the rings as a ‘pre-engagement’ gift. Although she accepted them, their lives soon went their separate ways and they soon split up so Kershaw could go to engineering school while Walker studied to be a nurse. In 1950, Kershaw married Clara Wahl.


Engraved Wedding Band
“I Love you always and forever”

After nearly 60 years of marriage, and after raising two sons with Kershaw, Wahl was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2008. Looking for the best possible care for his beloved wife, Kershaw began researching nurses in his area—and stumbled upon Jeanne Walker, now widowed, who he had not seen in over 60 years.


Knife Edge Pave and Cobalt Chrome Wedding Rings
Knife Edge Pave and Cobalt Chrome Wedding Rings

For the next three years, Walker cared for Wahl, until finally she succumbed to the disease and died in 2011. At that point Kershaw remembered the silver rings, still hidden in a safety deposit box after all these years. After the initial grieving period for his wife had passed, Kershaw revealed the rings to Walker, who cried with shock, and a few months after that, they both began wearing them again.


Three weeks ago, Kershaw, now 86, proposed to Walker, 85, while on a cruise in the Caribbean. After being separated for nearly a lifetime, the two are wasting no time in planning to spend the rest of their days together. The wedding will be held in one month—and the wedding rings are already picked out.



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