Skip to main content

Long time coming: Minnesota man reunited with first love on TV proposes

  • Author:
  • Updated:

It had been more than two decades since they'd seen each other, but finally this summer a Park Rapids man reunited with his first love on Good Morning America – and now they're engaged.

Steve McCoyne and Nancy Hamre fell in love instantly; their journey back together was anything but quick. They met in 1989 while at a party in Oregon – McCoyne, 19, was readying for a six-month deployment with the Marines, while Hamre, 17, was nearing the end of high school, Good Morning America (GMA) reported.

For the half year McCoyne was on his tour of duty, he and Hamre exchanged more than 200 letters. But when he returned, the distance – Hamre was out west, McCoyne was on the East Coast – proved to be too much. Hamre reluctantly ended their relationship.

The two moved on and started their lives apart – Hamre got engaged and had a child, McCoyne got married. After 22 years, the two reconnected through social media and began talking again, GMA said.

Even at the start of 2014, Hamre thought McCyone was in a relationship based on his Facebook profile, but on Valentine's Day McCoyne sent her a poem. They began talking and texting constantly, planning to meet up in the fall.

But, with the help of GMA and singer Jennifer Lopez (who was premiering her new single "First Love"), the two reunited in New York in June (pictured at left). They said on the show they planned to get together again in the fall.

This month, Hamre spent 10 days in Park Rapids, and the day before she left McCoyne asked her to marry him, the Park Rapids Enterprise reports.

The couple went shopping in downtown Park Rapids and as they passed the Park Theatre, McCoyne casually asked her if she wanted to see a movie before dinner. He had rented out the entire theater for a private screening of Hamre's favorite romantic flick, "The Notebook" – which seems to have a plot line similar to their relationship.

After the movie, they went to dinner where he proposed – Hamre had no idea it was coming.

“It was definitely the most romantic day I ever had,” Hamre told the Park Rapids Enterprise. “And that’s saying a lot. Steve is a really romantic guy.”

The restaurant clapped and as they walked back to the car, the marquee at Park Theatre read "Congratulations," the newspaper says.

McCoyne and Hamre are planning a small wedding on the Oregon coast in April 2015, and Hamre plans to move to Park Rapids.

McCoyne told the Park Rapids Enterprise that a producer from GMA had asked if they could do a follow-up story, perhaps a proposal on live TV, but they weren't interested. He told the newspaper, "Nancy's a private person and we didn't want to be that couple."

This embed is invalid

Next Up

Omar Samuels

Rep. Ilhan Omar defeats Don Samuels in contentious primary

Unofficial results for one of Minnesota's most-watched primary races are in.

Ambulance Hennepin Healthcare

Boy, 14, critical after accidental shooting at Minneapolis apartment

Police say the shooting happened during a gathering at an apartment.

Screen Shot 2022-08-09 at 3.25.49 PM

Charges: Man caused Burnsville building fire because girlfriend was late

The alleged arson fire displaced around 50 residents.

Famous dave granite city

Famous Dave's, Granite City owner sold for $200 million

The owner of Famous Dave's, BBQ Holdings, is based in Minnetonka.

Alanna McLean

Appeal to find missing northern Minnesota woman

Alanna McLean was last seen this past weekend.


Minnesota reaches 55 confirmed cases of monkeypox

Nearly 9,000 cases have been confirmed nationwide.

derek chauvin

$1.45M payout for correctional officers prevented from guarding Derek Chauvin

The officers were reportedly ordered to avoid Derek Chauvin while he was in jail.


Palm Springs residents: Divert the Mississippi to solve our drought problems

Should the southwest have some of the Mississippi River?

Image from iOS (10)

Minneapolis tries to spruce up street barriers with motivational messages

Police said the barriers will be in place through the beginning of the fall.


MnDOT debuts driverless shuttle in White Bear Lake

This is one of several self-driving pilot programs MnDOT is working on.