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Florida couple celebrates anniversary apart for first time in 70 years

“Because of the lockdown, we can’t get together"
Posted at 2:34 PM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 14:34:29-04

For 69 years, Florida couple Don and Joan Carroll spent every single wedding anniversary together.

But today, as they celebrate 70 years, they'll be apart.

They'll have to settle for FaceTime.

"Because of the lockdown, we can't get together," says Joan. "But, I'm thankful for the connection we do have."

Don has dementia and lives in the Oak Manor Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Largo.

Joan lives in an assisted living facility miles away. She used to visit him twice a week.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, she can no longer see her husband.

"I know this might be our last anniversary, so it makes it a little difficult for me," Joan says.

Still, she tries to remain upbeat.

The teams at both of their facilities have made sure the epic lovebirds will be able to celebrate their big day.

Joan asked for two things to mark the occasion. One was a wedding-cake topper. She's been collecting them ever since their "$7 wedding."

"The $7 wedding, at least that's what I called it," says Joan. "I bought blue satin for my wedding dress for $4, and paid a lady $3 to make it! One of the ladies who worked with me, her husband was a baker and baked our wedding cake for, you guessed it, $7. And my wedding band cost $7!"

She also asked for a picture to be made: Don and Joan, side by side, together again.

She got that wish, too.

Tearfully, Joan says, "Those things mean a lot to me, especially with where he is."

WFTS' Sean Daly first reported this story.