Every couple has a story about how they met, fell in love, and got married. However, this love story reads like a script from a Lifetime movie-possible, but highly improbable. As if straight from Hollywood, this is a love story that involves seven inches of snow, a current engagement, numerous Egg McMuffins, a gut-wrenching decision, and lots of drama.
Sue Downey, who was engaged to Bill, had a great job with AT&T in St. Louis. Five months before her wedding, Frank O'Sullivan joined Sue's sales crew. Immediately, he was drawn to her, but everyone warned him that she was engaged.
Over the next few months, they became great friends. She admired the way he treated the girls he dated. He was kind, chivalrous, and lots of fun. And the feeling was mutual. "He always said he wanted a girl just like me," said Sue. As her wedding approached, she gave notice at work, as she was planning on moving to San Francisco, where Bill lived. "My bosses wanted to take me out for a farewell dinner. They respected that, as a young single woman, I might be uncomfortable with two older men, so they asked if they could include Frank. Individually, Frank and I arrived at the restaurant and were shown to the table. Soon after being seated, one boss called and cancelled. Ten minutes later, the other cancelled too. So we had a long, wonderful dinner-just the two of us."
Working together on Monday, Frank and Sue stopped by McDonald's to grab breakfast. While seven inches of snow fell over St. Louis, they waited for the roads to be cleared. Over Egg McMuffins and orange juice, Frank confessed, "I thought about you all day Sunday. I know you're getting married in less than three weeks, but I love you, and want to marry you." Not surprisingly, Sue refused. But from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., they remained snowed in at McDonald's, him repeatedly proposing, and her repeatedly turning him down.
"That night, I received my first wedding gift-my first place setting of china-but not without my mother noticing my lack of excitement. I told her all about Frank and that he had proposed to me. She liked the fact that he came from an Irish-Catholic family that lived in St. Louis."
Sue's mother and father discussed the developing situation. "Who is this Johnny-Come-Lately trying to ruin Sue's wedding? I want to talk to this guy," he boomed. He set up a meeting with Frank to hash things out, man style. They went to a sports bar, while Sue and her mother waited nervously at home. Finally, he and Frank came through the door, arms around each other's shoulders. "I like this guy. He knows what he wants and he goes after it. Just like me. Frank should come over for dinner tomorrow." Sue called into work sick the next two days.
That same week, Sue was a bridesmaid in her sorority sister's wedding. She would be going stag since Bill was in San Francisco. When leaving the house, her father stopped her and asked if she had decided whom to marry. Guilt ridden, she begrudgingly said, "I guess I'll go through with the wedding and marry Bill." Her father knew this was the wrong decision. He told her, " I will call the wedding off. If you want to marry Frank, I will get up in front of the church and say, 'Standing in for Groom Bill will be Groom Frank instead'. Or, you can marry either one in six months when you have made a definite decision."
Feeling relieved, Sue called Frank to invite him to her sorority sister's wedding. He accepted immediately. At the reception, guests repeatedly walked up to Frank saying, "Hey Bill, in two weeks we'll be celebrating your wedding!" Each time he responded, "I'm not Bill, I'm Frank.her date tonight." At that point, Sue realized she had to follow her heart, regardless of what everyone expected her to do. That night, she accepted Frank's proposal. "The next morning I called Bill and broke my engagement. I never told him there was anyone else. I didn't want to hurt him any more than I already had."
Now Sue needed to get her job back. She met with her bosses to retract her resignation. When she told them she had cancelled her wedding, they asked why. "I confessed I was marrying Frank." In unison, they yelled, "YEAH! It worked! We knew you were perfect for each other, but knew you would never go out because it wouldn't be proper." Sue grinned, "They had set us up without us knowing."
Sue and Frank were married a year later on April 6th, 1979. Thirty-three years, two kids, and countless Yorkies later, they are still as in love as they were in the beginning. So the next time you're watching an unbelievable Lifetime movie, just remember.anything is possible when it comes to love.
Children: Kelly (26), Kaitlin (23)
Animal Lovers: Throughout their marriage, they have had 10 Yorkies, 9 Birds, 1 Lab, and 1 bossy Biewer
Hobbies: Travelling to the Caribbean, biking, swimming, and wine
The Definition of Irony: A few years after they were married, Frank went to work for McDonald's as a Corporate Real Estate Manager. He stayed with the company for 15 years. The McDonald's execs actually approached Frank and Sue about making a commercial based on their engagement.