A mixed-race couple who were college sweethearts and dated each other secretly in the 1970s have recently reunited and discovered they are ‘still in love’.
Jeannie Gustavson and Steve Watts met as students at Loyola University in when she was a freshman, aged 18, and he was a senior, aged 21, and they soon started dating.
However, he was black and she was white and her family disapproved of interracial dating, meaning they had to conduct their relationship in secret for seven years.
Despite ultimately breaking up forty-two years ago, Jeannie, now 68, always regretted the decision to end the relationship and has never forgotten about Steve.
In the decades apart, Jeannie believed they still loved each other and with their recent ‘miracle’ reunion has now discovered that Steve felt the same.
Speaking to , she said: ‘I loved him very much when we were younger and I knew he loved me. But it wasn’t until all of this and we’ve been talking, I didn’t know how much he loved me. I really didn’t know.’
Jeannie Gustavson, 68, and Steve Watts, 71, were college sweethearts and dated each other secretly in the 1970s have recently reunited and discovered they are ‘still in love’
Jeannie recalls how her college boyfriend Steve, now 71, was 6ft 4in tall and was ‘handsome, extremely intelligent, witty and quite charming with a killer smile’.
However, as a mixed-race couple in the 1970s, she explained that times were ‘turbulent’ and her family was ‘not understanding or tolerant’ of their relationship.
‘I was very hurt and very baffled by what my family did and said,’ Jeannie said. ‘We had to keep our relationship a secret.’
Jeannie graduated in 1975 and became a nurse and Steve studied a master’s degree in education and became a German teacher.
But, after nearly eight years together, Jeannie ended the relationship over the phone due to the building pressures of work, distance and conflicting schedules – and has regretted the decision for the rest of her life.
Speaking to , she said: ‘I regretted what I did after I did it, it was almost immediate. I mean I knew I shouldn’t have ended the relationship the way I did but at that point I didn’t know what else to do.’
The couple met as students at Loyola University in Chicago when she was a freshman, aged 18, and he was a senior, aged 21, and they soon started dating. Pictured: Their graduation photo
However, he was black and she was white and her family disapproved of interracial dating, meaning they had to conduct their relationship in secret for seven years until they broke up – something Jeannie has regretted ever since
The former college sweethearts never spoke or saw each other again, and Jeannie since married someone else, then divorced, but said as the years went by she never forgot about Steve.
Late last year, Jeannie began searching for him online, hoping for a second chance or to apologize for breaking up with him.
She wrote recently: ‘Forty two years later, retired, with a computer and nothing but time on my hands, could I find him? Could I apologize? Could we be friends?’
Her efforts to track him down seemed futile for seven months, until she made contact with his niece who told her Steve was in a nursing home in Chicago and gave her the address.
Late last year, Jeannie, now a retired nurse, began searching for Steve online, and after months of searching she tracked him down to a nursing home in Chicago
Jeannie wrote to him twice but didn’t hear back and eventually she showed up at the care home facility this summer with their graduation photo in hand and butterflies in her stomach.
She recalled their reunion, writing: ‘The minute he rolled into the visiting room and uttered the sweet nickname he gave me, forty two years melted away.
‘He and I were 18 and 21 again. We cried, we laughed, videodiporno.com we held each other. And most wonderfully we realized we were still in love.’
Steve had suffered two strokes 15 years ago, leaving him debilitated and Jeannie was his first visitor in ten years.
Steve had suffered two strokes 15 years ago, leaving him debilitated but Jeannie said when he saw her, he called her the sweet nickname he had given her 42 years ago and it was like they were ’18 and 21 again’
Jeannie has managed to bring Steve out of the nursing home to her home in Portland, Oregan, where she is now his carer and they have rekindled their long-lost love
‘I knew at that moment th