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CASA MARINA Love Story - March 2008 -The Times-Union

Couple remarry - 60 years after the first time - By M.C. FINOTTI, Special to the Times-Union.

Opportunity often comes disguised as tragedy. Just ask Jan and John McIvor. In 1948, at age 17, they ran off to Mississippi and got married. "We were going to keep it a secret until we got out of college," said Jan McIvor, "but that only lasted three days."

The couple stayed married three years, and during that time Jan traveled to Jacksonville to visit John, who had joined the Navy during the Korean War. They stayed at the Casa Marina Hotel in Jacksonville Beach.

By age 20, the couple divorced. "We were just too young to be married," Jan explained. They went their separate ways and eventually married other people. They both had long, happy marriages: Jan for 37 years, John for 50. Then, in 2004, John's wife passed away after a long illness, and in 2007, Jan's husband passed away, too.

In August 2007, Jan got an e-mail from classmates.com notifying her that an old classmate was trying to find her. Jan, who was then living in Apopka, eventually answered the e-mail. It was from John McIvor. "She was always in my heart," said John. "I never really felt right about the divorce, and I wanted to have a different ending to the story."

The two met for lunch at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Sanford and had such a great time that they met again and again. Eventually, the idea of marrying came up in conversation. Both agreed it was a good idea. But it was a big surprise to their families. Although they had told their spouses, neither, it turns out, had ever told their children they'd been married before.

"It just never came up," said Tammy McIvor, John's daughter-in-law.

Jan and John said "I do" Feb. 9 at Max's Restaurant in Jacksonville Beach. The night before, they held their rehearsal dinner at the Casa Marina, the hotel they'd once stayed in when younger. "It made the dinner a whole lot more special for them," said Tammy.

The McIvors' haven't honeymooned yet but may take a trip to Spain in the near future. Meanwhile, they say, they're taking life one day at a time and are having a good time doing that together as a couple again.

As Jan put it: "You don't ever forget your first love, I don't think."


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