94-year-old best friends reunited more than 70 years later - WKRN News 2

94-year-old best friends reunited more than 70 years later

Posted: Updated: March 22, 2014 09:34 AM
Courtesy: WSPA Courtesy: WSPA

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) - It's a reunion more than 70 years in the making.  Two women, who were best friends and roommates in college in the 1930s, reconnected in the most unlikely of places.

Ask anyone around the Woodlands at Furman retirement community and they will tell you Betty Bradley and Lillian Cleveland are inseparable.

"We visit together, we sit in the sun together, we talk together. We just try to keep each other happy, I think," said Lillian.

At 93 and 94 years old, respectively, these two best friends spend their days making up for lost time.  After all, they've got more than 70 years of stories to share.

It all goes back to Lander College, 1940.  Betty and Lillian were seniors studying to become teachers. During college, the two were also inseparable, but graduation and an impending war sent them down different paths.  

"We both got married, and we didn't see [each other] as much," explained Lillian

Both women became beloved teachers and mothers.  Time marched on through wars and revolution, but they never forgot each other.

One day, more than 70 years later, Lillian's daughter, Ellen, moved her in to a retirement community in Greenville.

"When I showed back up the next day, mother says 'Betty's here,'" said Ellen Cashion, Lillian's daughter.

She was a little older and her hair was a little whiter, but it was Lillian's college roommate and best friend, Betty.

"I said, 'How do you know?' and she said, 'I walked into the dining room and Betty said, ‘Lillian Cleveland, what are you doing here?'" explained Cashion.

"It just brought back all the old memories. When we came here to live, that's when we became really old friends again," said Lillian.

You might call it coincidence and some might call it fate, but for Betty, she's just glad to see her friend.

"I just think she's great," exclaimed Betty.

"She is one of the sweetest people I ever knew. We just loved each other and still do," said Lillian.

In a time where social connections seem to be lost as quickly as they are made, Betty's daughter, Mary Ann, values what the two share.

"You don't find it anymore. It's just amazing they have stayed in touch as well as they have over the years," said Daniel.

Though life is perhaps simpler for the two these days, it's the time spent reflecting on love and family, they said, that's the secret to truly good living; made better with a lifelong friend by your side.

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