Joy Morrow-Nulton keeps a diary, but she does not need to date her first lunch with John Shults Jr. in the state of New York. ‘It was May 14, 2019, and the restaurant was A piece of Italy, “Mrs. Morrow-Nulton, 95, said. The details of their conversation escaped her mostly because she was bored. But two years later, she’s glad she pretended otherwise and stuck it out.
“I hope I can make it to 100 so we can be together for five years,” she said on May 22, just after her marriage to Mr. Shults in Ulster, NY. “He’s a pleasure to be with.” Her son, John Morrow, 69, understood this well before he became his mother’s partner.
Morrow-Nulton and Shults were both born in May 1926. When Mr. Morrow introduced them, they knew they were close, but not that their lives had landed them in the same boat: both were widowed twice after 60-plus years of marriage. And both lived alone in their own homes, Mrs. Morrow-Nulton in Tillson, NY, and Mr. Shults in nearby Hurley. They also have Mr. Morrow, what mr. Shults have known since 1976, used for a long time.
“John can be very influential, and he has always enjoyed hanging out with friends,” he said. Morrow said. He became one after buying equipment to open his business, Safeco alarm systems, from mr. Shults, an entrepreneur whose dozen Ulster County businesses include Canfield Supply, a plumbing and electrical fixture. Mr. Shults retired in 2000. But years later, he still called me and said, ‘Let’s go have lunch,’ ‘he said. Morrow said. “We started this thing where we would meet every Tuesday.” He said that his mother also always’ asked to visit more. You know what mothers are like. ‘
Mrs Morrow Morrow-Nulton asked to join them the Tuesday they met at A Slice of Italy in Kingston, after Shults mentioned he was turning 93, “My son told John I’m turning 93 too.” Morrow-Nulton said. “They said, ‘Let’s invite her for lunch. ”
She did not expect to be bored. But “everything they said was about business,” she said. “John is talking to my son across the table.” Mr. Shults may not have been brilliant at showing it, but he had me. Morrow-Nulton found enchanting. “She was cute, I’ll tell you,” he said. ‘And she was smart and had a great sense of humor. And she smiled at me. “Despite all the performances, she also likes Mr. Shults.
When Mr. Shults by mr. Morrow asks if she will meet him just for lunch, just the two of them, a few weeks later in nearby Rosendale, NY, she agrees and finds he has much more than electrical supplies to discuss. Both had strong ties with their communities – Mr. Shults was a member of the Kingston Kiwanis Club for over 60 years, and me. Morrow-Nulton taught elementary school in Rosendale until her retirement in 1986. “My last 20 years I taught kindergarten,” she said. ‘Sometimes I meet the kids now and they’re 50 years old and it’s amazing. They recognize me. ‘Both are also active in their churches, she at Tillson Community Church and he at Cross Point Fellowship Baptist Church in Hurley. And both had the habit of asking their Amazon Alexas to play music at home in their forties. “We love Perry Como and the 101st string orchestra,” Shults said. ‘And right now I have a new one: Vince Guaraldi. He is a fantastic piano player. ”
As mev. Morrow-Nulton was not sure if they had met for the first time without Mr. Morrow does not, she understands his intention to meet her regularly at the end of a few more meetings. “He started stopping me every day for lunch,” she said. “I knew he loved me. He would call and say, ‘What are we going to eat for lunch? Where are we going today? ” She rides. “My children took my license away from me because I had three strokes and a broken hip,” he said. Shults said. “I took him to every restaurant in Rosendale except one,” said Mrs. Morrow-Nulton said.
That one was the 1850 House Inn and Tavern, which was only open for dinner on the days they visited. Note that only meetings are scheduled in daylight. “It’s not that I can not drive at night,” she said. But she wants to risk her own license seizure. “I like driving,” she said. ‘I think if I ever had an accident, it would be at night. And they like to take away the license of someone in her 90s. ”
By the end of 2019, Mrs. Morrow-Nulton and Mr. Shults a couple with a daily routine that stays late in the afternoons. When the weather was fine, they went to Robert Post Park in Ulster to watch boats float along the Hudson River. The loneliness and isolation both said they felt before they met. “I’m glad they got together and enjoyed each other’s company,” he said. Morrow said. “You bet your life that they were glad I was going to get someone at this age,” Mr. Shults said. For everyone, life without the company of marriage sounded hollow.
Morrow-Nulton was born in Mount Kisco, NY and grew up in White Plains, NY. She and her first husband, Robert Morrow, were married in 1949 and had two children, John and Melanie. Robert Morrow died in 1984. Her second husband, Thomas Nulton, whom she married in 1986, died in 2016. Mr. Shults was born in Phoenixville, Pa., And was married to Elizabeth Salzmann Shults from 1956 until her death in 1997. three children are John III, Elizabeth and Barbara. In 1999, Mr. Shults married Mary Fuller Shults. She passed away in 2017. The extended families of the couple can be a challenge for them to keep an eye on: “We have ancestors who come from our ears,” said Mrs. Morrow-Nulton said. Her three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren are in points across the country. Shults’ ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren were also spread across the states. However, two of his children are close by. Mr. Shults III, who goes to Pete and is the pastor at Cross Point Fellowship, lives two doors down. Barbara Loughran lives a quarter of a mile away. “They do not let him rot,” said Mrs. Morrow-Nulton said. “They are very much with him.”
This was especially true at the beginning of the pandemic, when life became scarce for everyone, but especially for older people. “When Covid came, we tried to dive it down,” she said. Morrow-Nulton said. Instead of going to lunch, ‘we ate a lot at his house,’ she said. “His granddaughters get lunch and we’ll sit in his dining room and eat it.” By the end of February, they were vaccinated. And engaged.
Morrow-Nulton believes she may have written down the date of the involvement in her diary. But none of them remember it exactly. “It’s like our first real kiss,” he said. Shults said. “It does not matter to me when it happened, it is the fact that it happened.” His strategy of getting Ms Morrow-Nulton to agree to marry him was the same strategy he relied on to move her to lunch. ‘I harassed her for at least a year. She kept saying, “No, no, no.” ‘
Me. Morrow-Nulton’s unwillingness to accept his proposals, which eventually began to come daily, just like lunch, was not out of lack of love for Mr. Shults not. Or the idea that someone can get along better. “It’s true that there are not many men my age,” she said. ‘And even though we’re both 95, I’m 12 days older. One of my friends said, “Oh, Joy, you’re a cougar.” ‘
Her caution about marriage was purely practical. “I had a house to take care of, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to help someone take care of it,” she said. “Plus, let’s be honest, we’re not in the best condition when it comes to running around.” Mr. Shults uses a hiker, Mrs. Morrow-Nulton, a cane.
Winter changed his mind. “We had a snowy day, and I would not drive to him, and I missed him,” she said. By mid-February, I finally decided, “You have to say yes.” We have a good time together. He’s not like anyone else I’ve met in my entire life. ‘
Their wedding on May 22, at the Cross Point Fellowship Baptist Church, was attended by 50 guests. Me. Morrow-Nulton, by her son, Mr. Morrow, accompanied, wore a bright pink satin blouse she wore during a grandson’s wedding; Mr. Shults wore bright linen trousers and a blue jacket. Pastor Pete Shults held a ceremony that brought father and son to tears. “That was the part when he said, ‘Until death do us part,'” he said. Shults said after the ceremony. “I suffocated.”
A reception under a pavilion in Robert Post Park also celebrated their celebration of their 95th birthday. While family members took turns taking photos, the couple held hands at a picnic bench.
“Nobody starts at 95,” she said. Morrow-Nulton said. “But we have.”
“I’m not lonely anymore,” Mr Shults said. Even better: “I do not think we will get sick of each other.”