Marilyn and John's 1st Anniversary

Marilyn Pfeiffer Farnham Taylor '50 and John Taylor '49 are celebrating their first wedding anniversary this fall, but this isn't a story of classmates reunited ater nearly 60 years apart.

Marilyn and John and their first spouses, Wally Farnham '49 and Eleanor Folkerts Taylor '50 were college chums who kept their friendship alive via letters, holiday cards, and mutual acquaintances long after leaving the Hilltop. In 1998, Wally died. In 2005, Eleanor passed away.

"I knew Marilyn had been through all this and would understand the grief process I was going through," remembers John, a retired college administrator and Methodist minister. He called her in Champaign, Ill. from his home in Cincinnati. Not long after, John, who has a pilot's license, flew to Champaign for lunch.

"She was so understanding and helpful. She's very competent, very able. I admired so much the way she handled the business of being a single mom," he says.

Marilyn and Wally had been divorced 21 years before his death. Her two children were in high school when the couple split.

After a pleasant Saturday lunch, John prepared to fly home. The plane refused to start. With no mechanics available on a weekend, John was grounded. He found a motel, called Marilyn with a dinner invitation, and met her at the motel's restaurant where they talked well into the night.

Their correspondence continued, she visited him in Cincinnati, and "60 years of friendship since our days together at Cornell grew and blossomed into love," she says.

Their wedding Nov. 25, 2006, in Champaign was not only a family affair but a Cornell reunion. Their five children were in the wedding party. Marilyn's twin sister, Aileen Pfieffer Nichols '50, gave her away; her brother-in-law, the Rev. Frank Nichols '49, participated in the ceremony; and her three nephews, including John Nichols '79, were ushers.

The couple celebrate their 1st anniversary while settling into a home in Mahomet, Ill.