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70 years later, former Elliot School classmates reunite, tie the knot

| Saturday, July 20, 2013, 11:30 p.m.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Sweethearts Edmund Kinter, 88, and Mary Ward, 85, pose for a portrait on Kinter's back porch in Portersville on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. 'It's a companion kind of love,' said Kinter, who married Ward in a church ceremony in Portersville on Saturday.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Mary Ward, 85, shows a class photo with her and her new husband Edmund Kinter, 88, and their fellow Elliot School classmates from 1938, when they both attended the same one room school house in Center Township. Years later, the two have reunited and were wed Saturday in Portersville.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Sweethearts Mary Ward, 85, and Edmund Kinter, 88, pose for a portrait in Kinter's backyard in Portersville on Wednesday, July 17, 2013. 'It's a companion kind of love,' said Kinter, who married Ward in a church ceremony in Portersville on Saturday.
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Sweethearts Mary Ward, 85, and Edmund Kinter, 88, show a class photo of them and their fellow Elliot School classmates from 1938, when they both attended the same one room school house in Center Township, shown in the photo underneath. Years later, the two have reunited and were wed Saturday in Portersville.

It has been more than 70 years since Mary Ward and Ed Kinter were first sweet on each other, and they've found that it's never too late to tie the knot.

“We thought of getting married but never did,” said Ward, 85, of Butler Township.

Kinter and Ward expected about 200 guests for their wedding Saturday at the Presbyterian Church of Portersville.

“We love each other and want to be together. Our children are very excited by this,” said Kinter, of Portersville, who is buying a home in Butler Township where the couple will live.

Kinter and Ward met as children at a one-room school house on the site of what's now the Clearview Mall. During World War II, when she was still in high school and he was a Merchant Marine, they dated, but Ward's mother advised against marriage.

“He drank. He smoked. He was a sailor,” she said.

“I was a drinking, carousing, cussing sailor,” Kinter said. “She was a Christian lady who had to throw me under the bus.”

They married others. Ward's husband of 63 years, James Ward, passed away in 2009. Kinter's wife of 53 years, Jennie Kinter, died in 2007.

The first time they saw one another after their breakup was at a school reunion in the 1990s. Their friendship renewed after Ward's sister died in 2009, and Kinter called to express condolences.

Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at rwills@tribweb.com.

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