WTOC Love Story--Henry and Betty Nash

The Nashes enjoy music together.
The Nashes enjoy music together.

With Valentines Day fast approaching, WTOC wanted to find the area's most romantic couple. You sent us your best love stories, and we narrowed them down to three. This week we'll introduce the three couples and then you get to choose which has the most romantic story, right here on wtoc.com. Now to introduce the first couple, who found their way back to each other after decades spent apart. If you don't believe in destiny, you may change your mind after hearing the love story of Henry and Betty Nash.

Henry and Betty met 57 years ago on the way to the Fairview Beach on the Potomac River in Virginia. A traffic jam allowed their paths to cross.

"They came back to our car and talked to us while the traffic was stopped," Henry recalled.

"Oh I thought he was a very cute guy, but I was at the age where I was still kind of looking around," said Betty.

Henry and Betty became friends that summer. Both of their families planned to stay at the beach for a week.

"Oh boy, we thought that was great," said Henry.

"I looked forward to seeing him each day," added Betty.

While taking boat rides and swimming, Betty found out how much Henry loved planes and Henry learned about Betty's love for music. At the end of the week, they promised to stay in touch and they did for awhile. Henry and his friends drove from his hometown of Washington, DC to Betty's in Fredericksburg, Virginia for Christmas. Betty recalls an entry in her journal after his visit: "I said i liked Henry's friends too but Henry was special and I said Mom and Dad liked him. It's in my diary."

However Henry and Betty went their separate ways, marrying other people. Henry became a pilot for US Airways and retired in Betty's hometown of Fredericksburg. he wondered if Betty still lived there.

"I always remembered Betty and always had a fond feeling for her," he said.

But Betty had moved to the Washington area. She was a professional musician and she worked for a nursing home. It wasn't until her sister passed and her obituary appeared in the Fredericksburg newspaper that Henry found out where she lived. Years later, after his wife died, he called. Surprisingly Betty was also thinking of Henry after returning from a vacation.

"I said, 'I wonder whatever became of Henry,' and when I got home there was a voicemail from Henry after 50 some years," she said. "It was a real surprise and this feeling of elation that after all these years he got back in touch with me."

Fortunately for Henry, Betty was also single again and wasted no time in asking him out.

"She had tickets to a Norman Rockwell exhibit at the Culken Art Gallery in Washington and invited me up to go to that show," he said.

Appropriately, after the exhibit they went to dinner at a restaurant overlooking the Potomac River, the same river they vacationed on more than 50 years ago. This time they stayed in touch, but that wasn't good enough for Henry, who told us, "I really missed her terribly and so I called her and said, 'This is crazy, this running back and forth.' I said, 'Let's get married.'"

They married in June of 2001.

"Well I think the angels up above had something to do with it," said Betty. "My sister who had passed away and he saw her obituary...she was like my little mother and I thought oh how happy they will be for me."

"You've heard many people say my wife is my best friend, and that's the way I feel about betty," said Henry.

The couple spends the winters on Hilton Head, enjoying each other's company and of course spending time on the beach, the romantic place that started it all over five decades ago.

Reported by: Shannon Royster, sroyster@wtoc.com