Site Registration | FInd a Copy | Event Calendar | Site Map | Search the Site
The Voice of the Black Community
Friends of the Foundation

Life and Religion

A love rekindled
Couple marries 65 years after meeting
Published Thursday, October 18, 2012
by Michaela L. Duckett


The year was 1947. Ethel Lee Lagrand was standing in line to go into a club, but she could not get in. The doorman was giving her a hard time.

Ethel Lee and Odell Robbins married Oct. 11 at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, 65 years after they first met. Ethel, 89, met Odell, 88, dated for a while, then moved on with their lives. They reconnected in June when Ethel, who lives in Greensboro, learned Odell had moved to Charlotte.

“He said I didn’t look old enough,” recalls Lagrand, 89.

Out of nowhere a guy she’d never met before stepped up and said, “She’s old enough. She’s with me.” He took her by the arm, and the bouncer let them in.

The man that came to her rescue was Odell Robbins. Robbins, a World War II veteran, had taken notice of Lagrand while standing in line. He said he liked her style and the way she carried herself.

“She seemed to be suited for me,” says Robbins, 88. Sixty-five years later, he made her his wife.

Ethel and Odell were living in Greensboro when they first met. They dated off and on for several years, during which Odell moved to Philadelphia. They maintained a long-distance relationship until he returned about six months later.

Then, Odell left again. This time, he stayed gone.

“When I came out of the army, I promised myself that I would see more of the world,” Odell said. “I hadn’t seen enough of it overseas so I just started traveling.”

Robbins stayed away for nearly 20 years.

“I didn’t even see my mama,” he says.

During their time apart, Odell and Ethel married other people. Odell married twice and had seven children. All the while Ethel remained on his mind and in his heart, but he did not see her again until earlier this year.

Ethel, who lives in Greensboro, heard Odell was living in Charlotte. She got in touch with his cousin to see if she knew how to reach him. The cousin did not have Odell’s phone number but informed Ethel that the family had a big reunion coming up. During the reunion, the cousin got Robbins’ contact information and shared it with Ethel.

That was June. The first time Ethel called Odell, she left him a message and was elated when he finally returned her call.

“I still loved him,” she says. “When I got back in touch with him, all my love came back. We started all over again… I was very much glad and so happy.”

Ethel traveled to Charlotte to see Odell, and when she arrived she wasted no time making her intentions known.

“I asked his daughter how she would feel about me being her stepmother,” she said of Odell’s youngest daughter, who lives in Charlotte. “She said she loved me and would love for me to be her stepmother. She greeted me with love and I greeted her back with love. I loved her the first time I met her.”

The couple married Oct. 11 at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse.

When asked why it took so long for them to get hitched, the couple said that was just the way God planned it.

“I’ve been gone all of these years, and we found one another again,” Odell said. “I know that wasn’t man. That was God, and I know God don’t play. I knew then that she was my wife… I know that whatever God leads you to do, it is right.”

“I just thank God for putting us back together,” the new Mrs. Robbins says.

“I’m happy now, and I want to stay that way,” Odell said. “We will never separate again.”



Thanks for sharing this info...it's really a rekindled love. I decided to share it on my blog too, hope you don't mind...The couple (Ethel and Odell) got married last week, 65 years after they first met...http://bit.ly/TcbyZU
Posted on October 25, 2012

Leave a Comment

Send this page to a friend

Upcoming Events

read all

Free admission at the Mint

Every Wednesday enjoy free admission, wine and


Walk for Education

On your mark! Get set! Go!The 2015 UNCF Walk/Run


44th Annual Tree Seedling Sale and Rain Barrel Sale

Mecklenburg County residents are known to

Latest News

read all

Blue Bears double up in CIAA

Livingstone rolls WSSU for second championship

Do it again: Blue Bears in final

Livingstone topples Bowie State

New women's champion in 2015

Va. State, Lincoln (Pa.) to decide tourney title