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High School Sweethearts Fall in Love Again 73 Years Later

Growing up in Muskegon, Michigan, the pair first met on a school bus in the 1940s, setting the stage for a romance that would span decades.


High school sweethearts
Credit: Linda Blakkan

Their journey together began at high school, with Blakkan recalling that "He took me to my senior prom, then I went off to Michigan State, and he was still back in high school, so we kind of each went our separate ways from then on."


Life took them in completely different directions after high school. Hassinger got married and served in the Korean War, while Blakkan pursued her own path, marrying and raising a family.


For 73 years, their lives unfolded separately, their paths diverging until a twist of fate brought them back together in the fall of 2022.


Blakkan, with the help of her daughter Linda, stumbled upon Hassinger's name while searching for lost classmates online. Upon discovering that Hassinger's wife had recently passed away, Blakkan got in touch, sparking a reunion that would reignite the flames of their youthful romance.


Linda Blakkan and Bill Hassinger
Credit: Linda Blakkan

They agreed to meet up for lunch. "We just really went back to where we were in high school as far as feelings go," Blakkan says fondly. "I think our feelings are stronger now than they were then."


Since these high school sweethearts reunited, the couple have spent every weekend together, basking in the joy of rediscovered love. Their families have embraced their relationship whole heartedly. With Hassinger (now 90) boasting five grandchildren and one great-grandchild, and Blakkan (now 92) having four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, their love story has created ripples of happiness that extend far beyond just the two of them.

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