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Former Indiana first lady Judy O’Bannon to remarry

Former Indianfirst lady Judy O'Bannsobe husbretired attorney DWillsey arrive party ColumbiClub Indianapolis Friday Nov. 1 2013. The couple are planning

Former Indiana first lady, Judy O'Bannon and soon to be husband, retired attorney, Don Willsey, arrive at a party at the Columbia Club, in Indianapolis, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013. The couple are planning a November 29 wedding at the historic O'Bannon farm in Harrison County. (AP Photo/The Star, Frank Espich)

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Updated: December 23, 2013 3:02PM



CORYDON — Former Indiana first lady Judy O’Bannon says she will remarry a decade after losing her husband, then-Gov. Frank O’Bannon, to a stroke.

O’Bannon, 78, will wed retired Indianapolis attorney Donald Willsey, 84, next week, The Indianapolis Star reported Thursday.

The two were fixed up by mutual friends two years ago. Willsey, whose first wife died three years ago of cancer, said he proposed last month while they were watching television.

The proposal came with some challenges. Both have trouble hearing, and neither was wearing a hearing aid.

“I just leaned over and put my lips to her ears and whispered, ‘Will you marry me?’ I was whispering because I was afraid of the answer,” Willsey told the newspaper.

She couldn’t hear him, so he repeated his proposal. She said “yes” but then had to say it again because he didn’t hear her the first time.

The wedding will be Nov. 29 at the O’Bannon family farm in southern Indiana.

The couple love traveling and have visited China, Tibet, Italy, Germany and other countries together.

Willsey, who said he’s “mostly Republican,” said he learned early on not to discuss politics with O’Bannon — even though he voted for her late husband, a Democrat.

“We’ve had our disagreements, but you don’t let those things bother your relationship much,” he said.



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