Timeless January-March 2022 - Page 11

Wade and Shirley Allen

“ We felt so blessed that God had put us together , and we knew we wanted to spend the rest of whatever is left of our life together . We fell in love , and our families were happy for us .”
SHIRLEY ALLEN
ON THE COVER

Meridian couple finds love after loss

When Wade and Shirley Allen were given a chance at finding love a second time , they did not let it pass them by . “ We feel like God really has blessed us ,” she said . “ We are so thankful that He put us together because we know He had a hand in it .”

Having known each other for almost a quarter of a century as members of Poplar Springs Baptist Church , both found themselves lost when their respective spouses passed away more than three years ago .
Shirley ’ s husband , Herb Strange , passed away Sept . 3 , 2018 . They had been married 38 years . Wade ’ s wife , Ann Allen , passed away 12 days later after a lengthy illness . They had been married 58 years .
Over the following months , through their mutual grieving and providing support to each other , the surviving spouses discovered they had a lot in common .
They both like to cook and to eat at the same restaurants . They both like traveling to the mountains and seeing theater shows . They laugh a lot together and can be silly . They both enjoy gathering with friends to play dominos . Both love going to church and participating in its senior activities .
Wade , 83 , originally from Kemper County , is a retired forester with a timber company in Shuqualak . Shirley , 74 , is retired from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Houston , where she worked as a financial aid advisor before she and her husband moved to Meridian 24 years ago .
Originally , Wade and Shirley started talking when passing each other at church , asking how the other was doing . Then , they began to spend more time in conversation at church activities .
“ I brought him over banana pudding one time , and we talked for a while . The more we talked , something special kind of happened . We really liked talking to each other ,” she said .
Finally , Wade mustered up the courage to ask her to lunch after church one Sunday .
“ We went to Outback and there were butterflies in my stomach ,” he recalled . “ We sat across
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