That’s how UCLA Professor J.R. DeShazo, who has a doctorate in economics, describes his love story with his bride Mary Frances Evans, an associate professor of economics at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont who also has a doctorate in economics.
“It’s very unusual for economists to find love with each other,” he said. “If not for our jobs as researchers and professors we never would have met. Yet our lives were parallel.”
“I believe there’s something to be said about having so many similarities that maybe we’re meant to be,” Evans said.
They both grew up in Williamsburg, Va. DeShazo’s youngest brother was in first grade with Evans at the school where DeShazo’s mother taught. The bride and groom went to colleges in Virginia, majored in economics, got their PhDs in similar fields and entered similar professions.
“For the first 10 years we knew each other, we were colleagues,” DeShazo said. “We would meet at annual economics conferences once a year and have coffee or a meal together. Both of us were with other people at the time. We began a distant friendship.” At the time, Evans was teaching at the University of Tennessee and DeShazo at UCLA.
In May 2008, though, Evans mentioned that she was no longer in a relationship in a phone call with DeShazo, who had been divorced for three years. Soon after they began dating long distance.
By their third date DeShazo said he knew “this is the person I want to marry.” Evans was soon smitten, too. “I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him,” she said. She moved to Pasadena in May 2009 to be closer to him and to start a new job.
Seventy guests attended their wedding Aug. 7 at an ocean-view Malibu home that used to be the home of actor John Larroquette. The wedding was planned by Ada Chan and Amanda Ma of Fresh Events Co. in South Pasadena. Twenty three members of DeShazo’s immediate family stayed at the house for a week before the wedding and for two days after the wedding.
On their wedding day, the bride, 35, wore a vintage 1950s white strapless gown, while the groom, 43, was attired in a ’50s-era linen suit. An unexpected intruder joined the wedding procession about halfway through the ceremony. After the bride and her father walked down a stone path aisle, the couple’s dog, Lucas, a yellow Labrador mix, who was hanging around nearby, decided to join in. He walked down the aisle and lay down behind the bridesmaids for the remainder of the ceremony. It was a surprise, but a welcome one, according to Evans.
While she was reciting her wedding vows, Evans became so emotional, she said, that “my voice started cracking and I got sort of teary.” She was also deeply moved when her future husband’s 10-yearold daughter played a minuet on the cello during the wedding.
“He’s an amazing man, caring, smart, a wonderful father, attentive, attractive, funny. I feel at home with him,” Evans said of DeShazo.
In describing Evans, the groom said, “Mary is such a gracious and thoughtful person who loves to live life — and is smart and beautiful to boot! I feel so fortunate to be her lifelong partner.”
— Rena Dictor LeBlanc, Special Advertising Sections Writer