Matchmaker, Matchmaker

Mississippi Magazine
January/February 2011

Looking back on their lives together, Fay and Francis Reid had a lot to be thankful for.  The couple lived through a World War, raised two children, and were later blessed with four grandchildren.  In 2002, with the approach of the couple’s 60th wedding anniversary, the Reid’s decided to put an announcement in the wedding edition of Mississippi Magazine.  

A few months later, that very magazine was delivered to the mailbox of Mary Nell Kemp Kuhlo.  Mary Nell, a native of Corinth, lived in Germany at the time and enjoyed receiving her little reminder of home in the mail.  As she flipped through the glossy pages, her eyes landed on the Reid’s anniversary announcement.  Mary Nell, the Reid’s son Marvin, and Mary Nell’s best friend Jane Dees Cozart – also a native of Corinth – had all been best friends during their time at Northeast Community College in Booneville.  Jane’s husband had passed away twelve years earlier and upon reading the Reid’s article, Mary Nell discovered that Marvin Reid was also a widower.  That’s when the wheels of fate and romance began to turn.

Mary Nell called Jane from Germany, told her about the article, and encouraged her friend to give Marvin a call.  “I told her ‘No!  I have never called a man before and I am not going to start now!’” recalls Jane.  She quickly put the conversation out of her mind until Mary Nell came home for a month-long visit to America later that summer.  Mary Nell, Jane, and several of their lifelong friends got together for brunch in Memphis.  Mary Nell shared the Reid’s story from Mississippi Magazine   with the group of ladies and her plan to get Marvin and Jane together.  “They all ganged up on me,” laughs Jane.  “I still refused to call him.  After that brunch, I thought the conversation was over -again.”

However, Jane’s former college roommate, Linda Wicker Kindrick, a native of New Albany, would not take no for an answer.  Linda called Mrs. Reid a few months later and asked how she could get in touch with her son.  Turns out, Marvin was sitting right next to his mother.  Linda convinced Marvin to give Jane a call, which he did ten minutes later.

“It had been 38 years since I last talked with Marvin,” Jane said.  “He had gone to Delta State and I went to Mississippi University for Women and we lost touch with each other.  But when we talked on the phone, it was like no time had passed since we last talked.  We picked up right where we left off.”  Jane and Marvin met for their first date six weeks later.  Forty two days after that, the couple married in Paris, Tenn.

The wedding took place at First United Methodist Church in Paris, Tenn., on December 7, 2002.  The couple’s children and grandchildren stood at the altar with them, including Marvin’s identical  twin daughters Allison (Jeff) Fracchia and their two sons Reid and Owen Fracchia,  daughter Amy(Charlie) Knighton and their daughters Abbie and Celeste Knighton, Jane’s son John (Angie) Cozart and their son Will Cozart, and Jane’s daughter Amy Cozart.  A wedding luncheon followed at the bride’s home for 100 family members and friends. The couple’s “ole gang” from their college days at Northeast Community College were present as well as many of the couple’s close friends.

Looking back on the chain of events that lead to their nuptials, Jane and Marvin are now thankful for the tenacity of her friends.  “This all happened because Mrs. Frances Reid put an article in Mississippi Magazine,” she adds.  “Mary Nell Kemp Kuhlo read her copy and remembered Marvin. Linda Wicker Kindrick never stopped trying to contact Marvin.  Marvin and I have so much in common and have had a beautiful life together.  This was all fate that ended so well all because of Mississippi Magazine.”