WEST BURLINGTON — When Pat Mumme, 83, first set up her Our Time online dating site profile, she found a scammer asking her for money.
As soon as she got the scammer kicked off the site, she found Dale Eschilman, 89, her future husband.
On Saturday afternoon, the couple got married at SS. Mary and Patrick Catholic church in West Burlington, surrounded by family. With 14 great-grandchildren each, they had plenty of loved ones to share their special day with.
Both living alone after the deaths of their first spouses, the two met online earlier this year and decided to give love another shot.
Since he lived in Boone and she lives in West Burlington, they traveled halfway to meet for their first date. They went to an ice cream shop, and learned of their shared love for strawberry milkshakes.
Soon after they learned they had much more in common. Eschilman said more than anyone he has ever met.
Both drink green tea, not coffee. Despite living over 200 miles apart, they had the same pattern kitchen dishes and the same merry-go-round music box on their tables.
The couple hit it off right away.
“Dale came up to me one day and he had this ring in his hand and he said ‘Will you marry me?‘” Mumme said. “I thought for a minute, because we really haven’t known each other for a long time, and he said ‘At our age, you don’t waste time.’”
So, she said yes.
And Saturday they walked down the aisle hand-in-hand to say “I do.”
The Rev. Marty Goetz, who performed the ceremony, read a letter to the couple noting their separate experiences with loss and sorrow, but their shared experience in finding joy and love again.
“I know when you began your solitary journey a few years ago you never in your wildest dreams thought you would be standing here today in front of family and friends being joined in a new covenant of love,” Goetz said. “But isn’t that how God’s grace works?”
Mumme said because both have already experienced long and happy marriages, they are able to bring those life lessons learned into their new experience with love.
The couple plans to drive to New Orleans today and set sail on a cruise of the Western Caribbean to kick off a second, loving marriage. Upon arriving back in Iowa, they will make their home in West Burlington.