In 1963, He Broke Their Engagement and Her Heart — 60 Years Later, He Took a Chance and Sent Her a Facebook Friend Request
True love always finds a way.
They say you never forget your first love and for Ed Sneckenberger, this is definitely the case.
Ed Sneckenberger, now 85, and Priscilla Matheny, now 83, first met in 1959 at a local church in Hagerstown, MD. Three years later, they got engaged. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
Ed, who was a student at West Virginia University a few hours away from Hagerstown, got cold feet. The couple had been pursuing a long-distance relationship and although they saw each other often, he soon realized that he was not ready for marriage.
Struggling financially and overwhelmed with school, he was afraid to start a life with someone else.
In March 1963, Ed sent Priscilla a “Dear John” letter. Their engagement was over.
What Happened After Ed Broke Priscilla’s Heart
Priscilla burned the letter, sold her engagement ring, and never saw or spoke to Ed again. She vowed to move on. And she did. Four months after Ed broke her heart she met her future husband Wally Matheny.
Meanwhile, Ed, deeply hurt, threw himself into his studies. He completed his bachelor’s degree and went on to earn a master’s and a doctorate in mechanical engineering. He got a job teaching a NASA program at West Virginia University.
And eventually, he married a fellow colleague, Scottie Hansbrough.
Ed and Priscilla lived a lifetime apart. They both had kids and eventually grandkids. They were happy in their respective marriages and mourned the losses of their spouses when they died (Wally in 1986 and Scottie in 2021).
But in all of that time, Ed never forgot Priscilla. He regretted the way he had ended things so many years ago and wanted to apologize.
A Man’s Quest to Find Forgiveness
So, he did what anyone would do in this age of social media — he looked for her on Facebook. And he found her, on a Facebook page for St. Mark’s Lutheran Church — the very church where they first met. Fate, it seemed, was on his side. He immediately sent her a friend request. She immediately deleted it.
“Who does he think he is?” Matheny recalled thinking to herself. “I don’t want anything to do with him.”
But apparently, Ed had learned a thing or two about not giving up in their 60 years apart. He persisted. He tried sending her messages on Messenger. She ignored those too.
Undeterred, he persevered, even going so far as to ask the church administrative assistant to pass on a message for him. Finally, just wanting to “get rid of him,” Priscilla agreed to meet him for coffee at Panera over Easter weekend.
From the moment he laid eyes on her again, Ed was smitten. “It was just too much for my mind and my heart to handle that she was as beautiful as she was,” he said. “She’s every bit as beautiful now as she was then.”
They talked for two hours.
As they were leaving the restaurant, Ed asked for Priscilla’s phone number and address. He didn’t waste any time. That night he called her. And on Easter Sunday, he showed up at her door and proposed. Again.
Full Circle Moment
In the months that followed, Ed did everything he could to win back her trust. He called every day and visited nearly every weekend.
Finally, Priscilla agreed to give him a second chance. She said “Yes.”
On December 7 the couple said “I do” at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Hagerstown. Their love story had finally come full circle six decades after it began.
Ed and Priscilla are enjoying married life and spend their days together taking day and overnight trips, attending church, watching movies and going to the symphony.
“She makes me feel five years younger,” Ed says. “I’m overwhelmed with happiness.” He added, “We want our flame to burn and grow for the rest of our lives.”
Their heartwarming story serves as a reminder that it’s never too late to find love again. Even after 60 years and a broken engagement, Priscilla and Ed were able to find forgiveness AND find their way back to each other, proving that age-old adage: True love never dies.