71-Year-Old Woman Married 17-Year-Old

| by Sheena Vasani
Gary Hardwick and Almeda ErrellGary Hardwick and Almeda Errell

After meeting him three weeks earlier at her son's funeral, a 71-year-old woman in Tennessee married a 17-year-old boy.

Almeda Errell tied the knot with Gary Hardwick, who has since turned 18, in a ceremony they arranged within six days and spent roughly only $200 on, the Mirror reports.

A widow and mother of four, Errell met Hardwick at the funeral for her 45-year-old son. Her son had died from a seizure.

“I'd noticed this young man with a lovely smile during the service and thought, 'Wow, this is the one,’” recalled Errell. "He was on the other side of the church, but I kept looking over at him. It was like a bright light through the grief.”

"Then, as I was walking to the door at the end, he came over and passed on his condolences,” she added. “We didn't have much time, but it was enough."

Hardwick, who had previously dated a woman who was 77 years old, says he felt a similar immediate connection and told his aunt, Lisa. Lisa had been married to Errell's son.

"It was an instant thing for me too," said Hardwick "She had the most gorgeous, sparkling blue eyes. When I told Lisa that I liked Almeda, she said that she liked me too and that she should get us together."

Shortly after the first meeting, Lisa invited both to a Chuck-E-Cheese birthday celebration for her 9-year-old daughter.

"He was just as I remembered," said Errell. "That smile, those good looks. We were both too nervous to eat, and at one point he fell over his chair."

"We spent hours talking about everything and found we had so much in common like our love of country music and Italian food," chimed in Hardwick.

While some family members were fine with the two dating -- including Hardwick’s mother and grandmother -- others disapproved.

"Some family members [thought] Gary was far too young for me, and that I must be crazy," Errell said. "I told him I wasn't crazy, and that we loved each other."

When asked about the age gap, Hardwick says it doesn’t bother him, the Daily Mail reports.

“Almeda is so young at heart that age never bothers us, we never really think about it. I just know that God answered my prayers that day she walked into my life,” he said.

Errell agreed and added, “The one thing I've learnt is that when you truly love somebody, it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.”

Sources: Mirror, Daily Mail / Photo credit: PA Real Life/Wade Payne/ via Daily Mail

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