Friends made pact to marry at 50 if still single — and now they’re doing it

By Chris Hewitt
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Kimberley Dean and Ron Palmer agree that they may have needed decades apart from one aother to become a marriage-ready couple.

ST. PAUL, Minn.

If Kimberley Dean and Ron Palmer’s 37-year romance sounds like a TV show, that’s because it was one. “How I Met Your Mother,” to be exact, in which two characters agreed to marry if both were single at 40.

Their wedding fulfills a similar pact they made a few years back, according to Kimberley: “Ron was talking about all his benefits through work and not having anyone to give them to. Just jokingly, I said, ‘The last one who turns 50, which would be me, if I’m not married and you’re not married, we’re just going to marry each other.’ He said, ‘Done!’, never imagining any of this would happen.”

Well, it’s happening.

Kimberley, 51, and Ron, 54, will marry in Como Park’s Japanese Garden, not Ron’s first choice of location, which he jokes would be the zoo, where Casey, the famed gorilla, could witness.

It could be argued that Casey (who now resides at the Louisville Zoo) would be an appropriate guest because maybe he could address the 400-pound gorilla in the room: Can a marriage that began with a jokey pact work?

“Oh, absolutely,” says Kimberley. “I have no second, third or fourth doubts in my head. Now that we’re getting so close, details like needing to call the florist lady, I am stressed about those things.

But marrying him? I’m not stressed at all. I’ve been divorced since 1998, so I go in with my eyes completely wide open.”

The key element to Kimberley and Ron’s relationship is that they’ve been friends for 37 years. They met at St. Agnes School, where she was an eighth-grader and he was a junior.

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