LUFKIN, Texas (KLTV) - This week’s laughter and smiles rarely leave the face of Judy Scibetta.
It’s the sound of love, something Judy found with Earl Parker whether she liked it or not. They are residents of the Pine Crest Retirement Community in Lufkin. This is how she answered to his first date request.
“I guess I wasn’t being very tactful 'cause I said to him, ‘I’m not romantically attracted to you, ok,’” recalled Judy.
Earl was just really fighting loneliness. He wrote letters and notes to Judy, telling her how he had lovingly cared for his first wife at Pine Crest at its Alzheimer’s wing. When she passed several years ago, Hospice of the Pines encouraged him to meet people.
“So,” Earl begins, then stopping to gather his emotions. “I did a part of that here," he concluded.
“You see, he wears his heart on his sleeve. That’s one of the things I like about him,” said Judy, while squeezing Earl’s hand. Judy gets it. She too once cared for an ill spouse. She was looking for a respite from responsibility, but Earl's charm couldn't be ignored.
Her next note to Earl was much kinder. He was a thousand miles away on a fishing trip with the guys.
"She sends me a note like, 'Earl, I think I'm falling in love with you," shared Earl.
When news got around that this 76-year old woman and 83- year old man fell in love, the excitement grew at Pine Crest. So did the ribbing.
An employee stops them in the hall, joking, “Earl stole my woman. Me and Earl, we’re about to square off. I’m sure going to talk Judy in eloping with me, but she says no, Earl is her man.”
A Valentine’s Day wedding, a reception with flowers, and a honeymoon to Holland to see the tulips are planned. You can't get more romantic than that.
“God has put us together. He was looking after me. He knew my thoughts and we’ll just see how things gel out,” said Earl. He then obliged cameras and kissed his bride in front of a big, red Valentine.