Middle school sweethearts marry at Sussman

Photo by Paul Liera

Photo by Paul Liera

DOWNEY -- On April 4, Bobby Whitaker and Jodi Miller were married at Sussman (formerly South) Middle School with family and friends in attendance, including classmates that attended school with them. They were granted special permission by Superintendent Dr. John A. Garcia to be married at the same place their story began 29 years ago. 

In 1986, Bobby and Jodi were 8th grade sweethearts at “South” Middle School. They spent a lot of time together after school, riding bikes, watching TV and talking about their lives at home. 

“Back in those days, your feelings or your home life wasn’t something you freely shared with anyone, but we did. It kind of sealed our bond,” said Jodi. 

Unfortunately, as time (and immaturity) goes with teenagers, both eventually grew apart and went their separate ways in high school. 

Then, 26 years later, Bobby came across Jodi’s name on Facebook and immediately contacted her. Through daily communication, both quickly realized the love and friendship between them was never lost. 

The couple describes that finding each other after so many years was “God’s timing.” Bobby moved to be near Jodi and a little over a year after they reunited, he proposed to her on Christmas morning 2013.  

The wedding was a first for the Downey Unified School District, as it had never been done at any of their schools before. Both newlyweds agree, “When you are from Downey, your heart just remains there, even if you move away. We may not live here anymore but we wanted to take our vows where it all began for us.”