In his 1953 hit song, “Young at Heart,” Frank Sinatra promised that “Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you, when you’re young at heart.” Devereaux (Devy) Rose Eyler, age 77, and her new husband, Captain Armand (Tise) Eyler, USN Retired, age 81, embraced the promise of the song and are now living the fairy tale.
Fayette Woman readers first met Devy Rose Eyler (formerly Devy Bruch) in May of 2014 when she was featured in a “Legacy” story about her life as a stolen baby. At birth, Devy was taken from her birth mother (who thought her baby had died) by the infamous Georgia Tann of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society and sold in an illegal adoption to a wealthy family in Pennsylvania. (You can read Devy’s gripping story online at .)
Devy’s first marriage at the age of 18 ended after her husband of 17 years left her and her four children to fend for themselves. Years later, she married again and enjoyed 27 years with, Phil Bruch, until illness claimed his life in 2006 while they were living in Peachtree City.
Devy and Tise first met 61 years ago in August of 1954 when Tise was on summer vacation from the Naval Academy, visiting his mother and sister in West Chester, Pa. A month later, Tise’s sister brought Devy to the Naval Academy unannounced to set her up on a date with Tise to a dance there. Tise already had a blind date for the dance (with the woman who would become his first wife, Patricia). Tise asked a roommate to take Devy to the dance. Tise has a photograph taken that weekend of his two future wives standing together!
While they would not see each other again for 61 years, Devy and Tise and their families kept in touch occasionally through exchanging Christmas cards. During those years, Tise established an impressive career in the U.S. Navy as a carrier pilot and squadron commanding officer, with assignments all over the world. Devy was raising her four children and then writing a book about her experiences as a stolen baby. (Her book, No Mama, I Didn’t Die: My Life as a Stolen Baby, can be purchased on amazon)
In December 2014, Tise sent Devy a Christmas card with a note about his wife’s recent death after a long battle with cancer. Devy sent back a letter of condolence, and Tise was so taken by her sincere and kind words that he immediately wrote her again and asked if they could renew their old, but brief, friendship. After the two exchanged over 120 emails in just one month, Tise took the next step and invited Devy to visit him at his home on Jekyll Island. Just one month after their initial correspondence, the two met again and a romance quickly blossomed. Tise proposed to Devy on Valentine’s Day in 2105 when he visited her in Peachtree City and presented her with a heart-shaped diamond engagement ring. The marriage date was set for October 17, 2015 at the Jekyll Presbyterian Community Church.
Guests from all over the country and from Canada arrived for the wedding. To ensure they could spend quality time with close family and friends, Devy and Tise held a special dinner the night before the wedding in the Pulitzer Room at the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. In attendance were Devy’s two half-sisters she discovered at the age of 71 while doing research into her background. This was the first time all three were together, and it made the weekend extra special.
Devy’s tea-length wedding dress and slippers were purchased at J. Andrew’s Bridal Shop in Peachtree City. Her maid of honor was Tise’s sister, Marci Stewart, who first introduced Devy to Tise 61 years earlier! The bridesmaids were Tise’s granddaughters, and the ushers/groomsmen were Devy’s son, Dirk Hunter of Peachtree City, and Tise’s son, David Eyler of Concord, Vt. Tise’s grandson was the ring bearer. One hundred and thirty-nine family and friends attended the wedding, cheering and clapping as Devy and Tise were pronounced “man and wife” and walked back down the aisle with big grins on their faces, ready to begin a new chapter in their lives.
Devy and Tise traveled in style from the church to the wedding reception at the Jekyll Island Club in a horse drawn carriage, decorated with flowers. (All aspects of the wedding, including flowers, photography, music and accommodations, were handled expertly by Jekyll Island Club). During the reception, Devy and Tise cut the three-tiered wedding cake with Tise’s Naval officer’s sword, the same sword he used while a midshipman at the Naval Academy and to cut the cake at his first wedding in 1956.
To continue the celebration, Devy and Tise remained on Jekyll Island for three days, visiting with family and friends. Then it was off to Oahu, Hawaii for a week of relaxation. The highlights of their honeymoon were touring the USS Arizona and the USS Missouri memorials on Pearl Harbor and the Punch Bowl National Cemetery in Honolulu, not to mention enjoying a few Mai Tais overlooking Waikiki Beach!
Devy and Tise spent the fall in Peachtree City selling Devy’s lovely home in the Kedron community of Southern Shore before returning to Jekyll Island to continue their fairy tale romance in Tise’s island home. They are great examples of Norman Vincent Peale’s advice, “Live your life, and forget your age.”
Devy’s and Tise’s favorite moment at the wedding followed “the kiss” when they turned to face their guests and Tise gave a “thumbs up,” bringing loud cheers and clapping from the audience.