When two Coon Rapids High School juniors began dating in 1973, they had no idea they’d tie the knot 46 year later.
Jeff Blair, who grew up in Blaine, and Cindy Syverson, who grew up in Coon Rapids and taught in Forest Lake Area Schools for more than 30 years, married May 4 at Hope Evangelical Lutheran Church in Andover.
The two met in English class, Cindy recalled, and they dated on and off until 1982.
“Then Jeff took a motorcycle trip to California,” Cindy said.
He was gone perhaps a year and a half, Jeff said, and their lives took separate paths.
Jeff made a living as a truck driver, and he married in 1995.
Cindy taught for 36 years in Forest Lake Area Schools, including three decades at Linwood Elementary in Linwood Township.
Cindy and Jeff saw each other briefly at their 20-year class reunion in 1994 but went their separate ways.
The two reconnected after Jeff’s wife, Connie, died in 2016.
Cindy saw the obituary and reached out to Jeff.
“[Cindy] mailed a really nice condolence card,” Jeff said. It said she was there if he ever wanted to talk.
Jeff wasn’t sure what to do but asked his brother whether he should call. His brother said yes. So Jeff picked up the phone and then met Cindy to talk; they’ve spent virtually every day together since.
Cindy, 62, and Jeff, 63, are both retired and live together in Andover. Later this year, they’re planning a honeymoon trip to Lake Tahoe and up the Pacific coast.
They share a love of classic movies, side-by-side four-wheeling and spending time at a lake cabin.
“She’s a great companion,” Jeff said. “She’s easygoing. She has fun doing almost anything. We enjoy each other’s company, I guess is another way to say it. No matter what we’re doing we seem to be having fun and enjoying each other while we’re doing it. ... I feel very fortunate and blessed to have got a chance to reconnect with her.”
Cindy said one of her favorite qualities in Jeff has always been his smile. But she didn’t think she’d get the chance to see that smile every day after so many years apart.
“I never expected it,” she said.