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Widowed hospital volunteers find love again in their 70s: "The man upstairs put us together for a reason"

After his wife passed away a few years ago, 73-year-old Ron Hill wanted to get out of the house. So he decided to give back and started volunteering at HCA Healthcare's Trident Medical Center in Charleston, South Carolina, every Wednesday. Similarly, 78-year-old Pat LoPresti, who lost her own husband, volunteered at the hospital on Thursdays.

When the pandemic hit, volunteers were furloughed. But they were welcomed back in March 2021 with a party, and Ron and Pat bumped into each other or the first time. 

Pat LoPresti and Ron Hill
Pat LoPresti and Ron Hill both volunteer at a hospital in Charleston, and feel it was fate they were volunteering on the same day. HCA Healthcare's Trident Medical Center

"We discovered we both got transferred to Mondays and neither of us worked on a Monday before," LoPresti told CBS News. "You worked Monday morning and I worked Monday afternoon and we would both have lunch together."

The two volunteers feel it was fate that they were now volunteering on the same day. 

"And what do you always say?" she asked him. "It's got to be the man upstairs who put us together for a reason," Hill replied. 

Both had been out of the dating game for years, but decided to take a chance on each other. 

"We never gave [dating] a thought," LoPresti said. "Here we were, both widows, thinking we were going to be OK if we were alone for the rest of our lives. We had friends, we had family, we had fellow volunteers. We were going to be OK. And then — surprise — we bumped into each other."

For their first date, Hill took her to Middleton Place Gardens, a National Historic Landmark and America's oldest landscaped gardens. 

"Someone got brave and asked me for my phone number," she said. They hit it off but were still unsure of how to actually "date." 

"We were both so shy that when we said goodbye, what did we do? We shook hands!" she said. "We were so bashful. And we laugh about it to this day, and I said, 'This man is never going to call me again.'"

Ron proposed to Pat at Middleton Place Gardens and asked a stranger to snap photos of the proposal. HCA Healthcare's Trident Medical Center

They kept seeing each other and even went on a trip, visiting the Grand Canyon — which was on his bucket list — and other National Parks. And on Thanksgiving Day, Ron took Pat back to the spot of their first date and popped the question. 

On Valentine's Day, Trident Medical Center had a red carpet event to celebrate the love of their two newly-engaged volunteers.

They weren't expecting to find love again, but the bride-to-be says it finds you when you're not looking for it. The two are planning a wedding for October. 

"When [the pastor] says, 'You may now kiss your lawfully wedded wife,' we're going to shake hands first — and then you can kiss the bride," she joked.

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