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Man who married wife in 'Bachelor' style contest at Mall of America dies at 48

Dave Weinlick hit the headlines with his unconventional wedding to Elizabeth Runze in 1998.

Dave Weinlick and Elizabeth "Bethy" Runze have arguably one of the greatest love stories in Minnesota history.

The pair hit national headlines when they wed at the Mall of America in 1998 having met just minutes earlier, after Runze won a Bachelor-style contest for Weinlick's hand run by family and friends, who interviewed dozens of candidates.

The couple defeated all the odds by still being married 20 years later, having four children along the way.

Unfortunately, their fairytale story came to an end on Sunday, when Weinlick passed away after battling terminal colon cancer for more than a year.

The pair renewed their vows at the MOA last year, and this video describes their story (be prepared – it will likely cause tears).

Among those paying tribute is the Mall of America itself, who said the Weinlicks "have been a constant reminder for us of what true love really means, as well as the definition of strength and perseverance.

"We now grieve the loss of Dave after a brave battle with cancer. Our thoughts are forever with the Weinlick family."

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His friend and Minneapolis City Council member Steve Fletcher, one of those who helped with the contest two decades ago, spoke of the deep impact Weinlick had on his fellow Minnesotans.

"A lot of people feel connected to him because they followed the story of his marriage, his unusual wedding in 1998, and the followup stories throughout the years that showed this amazing couple falling deeper and deeper in love," he wrote on Facebook.

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