For David Brace, two short sentences explain the way he feels about his bride. • “I lost you once. I’ll never lose you again.” • The former Lois Kammerer, who exchanged vows with David on Saturday at the Luzerne United Methodist Church, cherishes those words and admits they sum up her feelings as well.
After the ceremony, the couple celebrated their joy with about 35 friends and relatives during an intimate reception at Vanderlyn’s in Kingston. The restaurant took on the ambience of “Old Hollywood,” complete with red velvet ropes, a red carpet and a cake shaped like a top hat, because Lois planned the festivities with an eye toward re-creating the glamour of Elizabeth Taylor’s wedding to Conrad “Nicky” Hilton.
“She’s my idol,” Lois said, adding she’s often been told she bears a striking resemblance to the actress.
When the two celebrities got married in 1950, Taylor was 19 and Hilton was 21.
Lois and David were about that age when they dated each other during the 1970s. They drifted apart after about two years, and Lois married someone else in 1979, then separated in 1997.
As she recalls, “I was not ready to date.” But in January 1998 she ran into David by chance, or, as David calls it, fate.
“How much more ‘fate’ can you get than the both of us being in the same doughnut shop?” he asked. “I stopped for coffee, and she happened to be there.”
Actually, Lois recalls, they had an amusing little misunderstanding at first, with her congratulating him because she had seen a birth announcement that led her to believe he recently had a daughter.
David thanked her, believing she somehow knew he had added a dog to his household and was congratulating him about that “baby girl.”
It turned out the birth announcement referred to another David Brace. The man destined to become Lois’ David told her, “I’m not married, never was, nor do I have any kids. I still live in the same house in Luzerne.”
Lois still didn’t feel ready to enter a new relationship, yet she “rattled off” her phone number, and David memorized it. Weeks later, they went out on their first “second-time-around” date, a trip to a local high school to see a documentary about big-game hunting.
Both avid hunters, Lois and David have since enjoyed many hours of hunting together, for pheasants, chukar partridges and deer, and cooking what they harvest.
But the next 15 years would not be all fun. David loaned his strength to Lois when she she learned she had uterine cancer in 1999. “Thank God it was ‘contained’ and I didn’t need chemo or radiation,” she said.
During the past 18 months, she’s been there for him as they had to put his mother in a nursing home and grieve her death.
They’ve also been busy restoring his family homestead in Luzerne.
“Sanding, plastering and varnishing together” really helped the couple bond, David said with a chuckle.
For Lois, the thought of remarriage was “on the back burner,” but after David’s mother’s death in 2011, he urged her to make concrete plans. “I could have done it yesterday,” he told her. “But you pick the date.”
“I thought and thought,” Lois said, “and came up with the anniversary of our first date, the second time around.”
So, on March 9 David, who is a truck driver, and Lois, who works at SCI Dallas, officially tied the knot.
Lois’ daughter, Maria Anderscavage, was maid of honor, and David’s cousin Corey Welsh was best man. Junior bridesmaid was the granddaughter of the bride, 7-year-old Anjel, and groomsmen was the bride’s son-in-law, Bruce Anderscavage.
As a surprise to David, Lois invited his cousin, Nancy Hovis from Emlenton, whom he hadn’t seen in years, to the wedding, and he was thrilled to see her and her husband, Tom, in the front pew at church. “That was a highlight for David,” Lois said, adding that a highlight for her was the presence of her boss, Joseph Scarantino, who was sufficiently recovered from an injury to come and share the celebration.
During the reception, the music of Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Vale, Tony Bennett and Dean Martin filled the air. At the bride’s request, the DJ explained to the group why the couple agree with the lyrics of a Sinatra song that “love is better the second time around.”