Saltwater Portrait

Paul and Norma Sherwood: Newlyweds late to the altar, long on love

Church brings former acquaintances together
Newlyweds Paul and Norma Sherwood relax at their Georgetown home. BY MELISSA STEELE
November 8, 2011

Paul and Norma Sherwood have a lot in common: Both were married 60 years before being widowed, both have five children, and both have 12 grandchildren.

Now they have each other.

Paul, 87, and Norma, 79, were married Oct. 22 after dating since January.

"Sometimes I feel like, and I'm sure she thinks the same, here we are at this age and what are we doing?" Paul said. "But we're both in pretty good health, so we're going to enjoy what we have left."

The couple met about 20 years ago, under very different circumstances.

Paul was pastor of Georgetown Wesleyan Church, where Norma was a parishioner. Both were married to other people, and they merely considered themselves acquaintances.

The path that led them back together was circuitous for Paul, while more of a straight line for Norma.

A lifelong pastor, Paul was born in Ohio but grew up mostly in Pennsylvania. In 1969, he and his family moved to Milton, then Albany, N.Y., and he finally stopped in Georgetown before retiring in 1992. For the last year and a half, he's lived in a Milton apartment.

Norma's story is centered in Sussex County. Born and raised in Millsboro, she married and moved to Georgetown where she lives today.

She worked for 37 years in a sewing factory, then on an assembly line making cash registers for National Cash Register. Later she worked as an attendant at Stockley Center.

After years apart and growing families of their own, the two reconnected in 2007 when Norma began attending Milton Wesleyan Church.

Paul asked her out a couple of times before she said yes.

"I didn't think I was ready for companionship," Norma said.

She finally said yes Jan. 23 of this year when the two went out for dinner. They've been a couple ever since.

Most of their time spent together surrounds church activities, or going out to eat.

Their wedding at the Milton Wesleyan church let them combine the best of both worlds.

"His family and my family all joined us for the wedding," Norma said. "They were all on the stage with us. It was impressive."

It took every bit of the church meeting room to fit everyone, Paul said.

Picture albums and a lead crystal relish dish were among their favorite wedding gifts, and the two enjoyed a tour of Lancaster county for their honeymoon.

Now the couple is sifting through years of things as they prepare to live together in Norma's three-bedroom Georgetown home.

"I got rid of quite a bit of stuff," Norma said, with emphasis on stuff.

Paul expects to keep his Milton apartment for another month until the move is complete.

"Even though I had gone through things before, after my wife passed, now I find out I still have a lot of stuff to get rid of," Paul said.

It may take awhile to get everything settled, but the newlyweds couldn't be happier.

"The Lord brought us together, and he'll lead us through everything," Paul said.