Finding love the second time around


Willie B. and Dorothy Devereux, who will celebrate 30 years of marriage, spent Valentine’s Day with each other at home. Photo by Carla Parker

Willie B. and Dorothy Devereux are proof that a person can find love a second time around.

Willie, 87, and Dorothy, 82, were both divorced when they met in January 1983 at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Atlanta. Dorothy, who was 54 at the time, was trying to leave church when her car wouldn’t start.

That’s when she noticed 59-year-old Willie and asked him to help, which was the perfect opportunity for Willie to finally talk to her.

“I had been watching her at church for a while,” he said. “I use to look at her every Sunday but I never got up enough nerves to say something to her.”

However, Willie didn’t have his eyes on Dorothy first.

“At first I was looking at the other lady sitting beside her,” he laughed. “Then later on I began looking at her.”

He used his jumper cables to start her car and then got her  phone number. That moment turned into 30 years of marriage for the couple.

The Devereuxs dated for six months before they married on
July 9, 1983. On their first date the two went to Dorothy’s friend’s house to have a few drinks and talk.

“It was real nice,” Dorothy said. “He was the perfect gentleman. He wasn’t forcing me or trying to kiss me.”

Because Willie worked two jobs during the week he could only talk to Dorothy after he got off work, then he would see her on the weekends. It was during one of the nightly phone conversions when Willie asked Dorothy to marry him. But, Dorothy turned him down.

“I said, ‘no. You have to look me in the eye and then I will let you know,’” she said to him. “‘You have to ask me in person.’”

“I asked her the next weekend and she said yes,” Willie said.

Their union brought together two families. Willie had five children from his previous marriage, two boys and three girls, and Dorothy had three daughters from her previous marriage.

The couple now live in the East Atlanta section of DeKalb County.

Their first Valentine’s Day together was not a big fanfare but was still a special occasion for the couple.

“He got me a box of candy and some pretty roses,” Dorothy said. “I like the colors yellow and red so he brought me yellow and red roses. We also went out to eat at Pascal’s [restaurant].”

Because of financial concerns and Dorothy using a walker to get around, they plan to stay home for Valentine’s Day this year and enjoy each other’s company.

“I’ll probably get her some candy and roses,” Willie said.

The one thing Willie said he loves most about Dorothy is her selfless spirit.

“She likes to do things for people,” he said. “She does everything she can for me and I like that.”

Dorothy couldn’t decide on what she loves most about Willie.

“He is kind, he’s loving, he’s truthful, he’s respectful and I love him,” she said.

The one thing the two said that keeps a loving marriage going strong is trust.

“You got to learn to trust each other,” Willie said. “You can’t be jealous and want to know this or that. I learned that from the first [marriage] and it didn’t work. You have to trust each other and try to be true to each other.”

“You have to have faith in each other,” Dorothy said. “Trust each other, love each other and do what you know is right by each other.”


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