Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

February 23, 2014

Half a Century and Happy: Winning over the confirmed bachelor

Nancy Dezelan captured the heart of a man who said he'd never marry

Bill Jones thought he was a confirmed bachelor for life.

“I never wanted to get married,” he said. “It just wasn’t my thing. Not until I met her.”

“Her” was Nancy Dezelan, and they met at Riverside Park’s skating rink in Indianapolis in the late 1950s. Their relationship started out as just friends.

Bill worked there as a floor guard and Nancy came in with a group of friends. She always liked skating with him. He was a good skater, and he made her laugh a lot.

She started to like him, but he didn’t want to go out with her at first because of their age difference. He was 12 ½ years older than she was.

The two took skating dance lessons together. Bill would pick Nancy up, and he paid for the lessons, but it was not a date. He knew she didn’t have a lot of money.

“At that time I made 92 cents an hour so I had all kinds of money,” Bill said, with a laugh.

They spent so much time together that their friends thought they were already dating. They didn’t believe the relationship would last, though, because of their age difference.

The fact that they thought those things convinced Bill to ask Nancy out. That, and he just fell in love.

“I felt like she was more of the marrying type than anyone I ever went out with,” Bill said. “I felt like if I’m ever going to get married, she’s the one I want. I fell in love with her.”

They dated for about a year and a half, and they enjoyed being together. Nancy really liked Bill, but she wasn’t sure if he was as serious about her.

“I always did think he was the one,” she said. “I wasn’t going to push him into anything, though, because that wouldn’t work.”

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