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University of Missouri

Second-chance Romance

A cross-country romance blooms thanks to social media.

wedding portrait of Kathy Wilcox Mabry and Tom Prost

Kathy Wilcox Mabry and Tom Prost married 11‐11‐11 in Phoenix. Photo by Emily Carrol Photography.

For Tom Prost, BS ’78, Kathy Wilcox Mabry, BJ ’77, was the one who got away.

His crush on his co-worker at Green Pepper Pizza in downtown Columbia was so strong he memorized her schedule to arrange “chance” encounters on campus. Alas, Mabry was dating someone else, so Prost never shared his feelings. Still, thoughts of her lingered after graduation. In 1979, while ostensibly visiting his brother, he dropped by her Albuquerque, N.M., office. They did not meet, but he left a photograph he had taken of a St. Louis park. She sent him a book of poems in return.

In the mid-1980s, Mabry, then married and living in Phoenix, came across an address book with Prost’s name and called him. They chatted, and she mentioned she was married. They didn’t speak again for almost 25 years. Both Mabry and Prost were divorced in the late ’90s, and though they continued to think of each other, each assumed the other was happily married.

But in 2009, Prost searched for Mabry on Facebook. He sent a message, and she responded. He confessed his feelings for her while in college. Long emails and telephone calls preceded monthly flights to visit. Despite juggling careers, children, time and distance, the couple’s relationship blossomed. They married on 11‐11‐11 in Phoenix. Their story appeared in the Dec. 2, 2011, New York Times.

Mabry will move to St. Louis where Prost works.

“It’s great to have a little history with someone,” she says.

History — and a future.

Did you know the Mizzou Alumni Association has a special program for couples who hail from Mizzou? Learn more about the Mizzou Match program.