MARQUETTE - Talk about living up to your name: John Love certainly does that.
He's written a love song for his late wife, Nancy, in hopes of sharing with the world the essence of the special lady who won his heart more than 50 years ago.
"My Love Song Forever" is a collaboration between the former Marquette resident, who wrote the lyrics, vocalist John White and D.B. Rielly, who designed the video.
Pictured are John and Nancy Love, on May 5, 1962 on their wedding day. (Courtesy photo)
At right, John and Nancy pose with their dog in May of 2012. John wrote a song to honor his late wife. (Courtesy photo)
Love's bride, nee Nancy LaFreinere, caught John's eye one night in Harvey.
"I was a brand new Air Force 2nd Lt. at K.I. Sawyer AFB. My new-found bachelor friend (2nd Lt. Jerry Brown) and I decided to go out to the Harvey Inn on Jan. 6, 1962," Love said via email. "The Harvey Inn had a bar, excellent prime rib, a small dance band and maybe, if we were lucky, some girls. Well, I saw this very beautiful brunette sitting with what turned out to be Nancy's mother and her mother's boyfriend. Nancy's dad died when she was 7 while the family was living in Detroit ... and Mom and family moved up to Marquette.
"God, was this brunette gorgeous (and she still IS!)," he said. "So, what the heck, I went over to her table and asked her to dance and the rest is history."
Did he know right away she was "the one" for him?
"The truth is I didn't during our first dance at the Harvey Inn," he said. "But, after two or so weeks I just knew, principally because I just could not stop thinking about her."
The couple wed at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette May 5, 1962 and marked 50 years of marriage with a trip to Comerica Park the weekend of May 5, 2012, watching their beloved Detroit Tigers.
"In the interests of full disclosure, I for sure had no concept at all of the marriage vows and the total seriousness of them," Love said. "That total and complete realization of what the marriage vows really meant did not sink in until Nancy contracted cancer (breast, followed by lungs)."
Nancy Love was diagnosed in May of 2012, and died on Dec. 27, 2012, a time period John describes as "eight months of medical hell."
Writing the song, Love said, is keeping with the vows he and Nancy renewed in 2012.
"You see, when Nancy and I last renewed our marriage vows, we promised 'until forever ends'," he said. "The purpose of this song and video is to share with you the priceless jewel I found when I met my Nancy."
John describes Nancy as out-of-sight gorgeous; natural (no put on airs); and certain of herself and her talents. And he shared this story:
"I remember that the very first thing she wanted to do after we bought our house on Lakewood Lane was to open up a dog grooming business inside the home. So, she traipsed over to Chocolay Township during the summer of 1995 and presented her case," he said. "All the township board was concerned about was the existence of signs about dog grooming on our property line. Nancy said 'Why would I need street signs?' The reply was 'Mrs. Love, to advertise of course.' She replied 'Advertise? Why? My excellent and professional work is all the advertising I need. The word will spread. Signs? Don't think so!'"
John said, "Slam dunk"
Communicating with Love, you know his heart is still with his Nancy.
"I want to to blab to the whole darn world how lucky I was to have met, fallen in love with, and stay married to her for 51 years and counting," he said. "Nancy deserves to be bragged about. People need to know what a beauty she still is. People who missed her travels on this Earth need to know what they missed plain and simple."
This past July 10, John Love presided at the burial of his Nancy at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, the state where he now lives and stays close to his beloved wife.
"First thing today, I went down to Arlington as I do at least twice, sometimes three times, every week," he said.
For anyone who'd like to view the complete musical video production of "My Love Song Forever" can visit lovesong.studioaandaonline.com/youtube.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.