Immigration issue separates 96-year-old man from his wife

April 7, 2008 4:43:49 AM PDT
A 96-year-old man who outlived two wives is separated from his third - by immigration problems.

Canadian Doreen Buttery, 73, was a temporary visitor when she met Leonard "Woody" Woodward at a senior center in Provo. They wed this year and honeymooned in Alberta - which gave Buttery the chance to sell her house and prepare to move to Provo permanently.

But she hadn't filled out the paperwork to immigrate and was stuck at the border as her husband took the bus back to Provo.

"We tried to provide her as much guidance as we could," said Larry Overcast, port director at the Customs and Border Protection entry point in Sweetgrass, Mont.

Woodward and a neighbor who has a law degree are trying to put together the paperwork to bring Doreen back. But it's a complicated process that takes time.

"It's on a merry-go-round," Woodward said.

Buttery will also have to go through an interview, so U.S. officials can determine the marriage is legitimate and not just an attempt to bypass immigration rules.

Woodward said can still get by on his own, but he doesn't like it.

"I need her home, bad," he said.