Sweethearts to Wed at 45th Ball High Reunion


Charles Doug Sanders was the handsome senior all the girls liked at Ball High School in Galveston, Texas. But he was sweet on just Susan Carpenter, a pretty blonde flute player in the band. He even offhandedly proposed in 1967 but she never replied. They went separate ways in college.

Fast-forward 45 years. The high school sweethearts have reunited and married at their 45th class reunion in Galveston. Guests were family, friends and the Class of 1967.

“It was that relationship that got away,” said Heather Bright Harkleroad, daughter of now Susan Carpenter Branche. “They always wondered where the other was.” In those years, Branche and her daughter moved from Galveston to California and eventually to Portsmouth, Virginia.

“The wedding couple is ecstatic to be reunited and very excited to be getting married at their high school reunion, where it all began 45 years ago,” said Harkleroad.

Sanders’ wife of 41 years lost her battle with cancer. They raised two sons and a daughter in Oklahoma. His children encouraged him to join Facebook and touch base with old high school friends. One of his first contacts was Branche.

When they reconnected, it was almost like they hadn’t parted. They talked every day for a month. Sanders flew to Virginia Thanksgiving to propose one more time.

He got down on one knee and asked her right there at the airport. People all around clapped and cheered. He talked about it the whole flight, so the whole plane stood around to wait for him to find her and propose.

Branche said yes this time. The couple makes their home in Beaver, Oklahoma.

“They’re as happy as can be,” Harkleroad said. “They’re finally back together.”

From a story by Bronwyn Turner in the Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas.


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