Grandma and teenager who spent Thanksgiving together in 2016 reunite before this year’s vacation

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An Arizona grandmother and the stranger she accidentally invited to her 2016 Thanksgiving dinner reunited for a meal before this year’s vacation.

Wanda Dench, 63, made international headlines four years ago when she texted Jamal Hinton, 21, for her grandson.

Hinton ended up coming to Dench’s Thanksgiving celebration that year, and he has continued to do so every year since.

However, the couple’s reunion in 2020 is tinged with sadness as Dench’s beloved husband Lonnie died of COVID-19 in April.

Dench and Hinton shared a first Thanksgiving meal at her home in Mesa on Friday, where they paid tribute to her late spouse.

“I always remember Lonnie looking on the bright side,” Hinton told The New York Times on Saturday.

“He would like us to celebrate his life instead of hating COVID and hating everything. “

Wanda Dench, 63, and Jamal Hinton, 21, enjoyed an early Thanksgiving dinner on Friday – seven months after Dench’s beloved husband Lonnie passed away from COVID-19. He was warmly remembered during the celebrations and his photo was placed on the table (right)

Hinton attended Dench’s first Thanksgiving dinner with his girlfriend, Mikaela.

Dench’s daughter and grandson were also present for the party, where Lonnie was warmly remembered.

The grandmother placed a photo of her late husband on the table and lit a candle for him.

Arizona Family captured the moving moment that Dench thanked for the years she spent with Lonnie.

“Thank you for all the blessings, and thank you very much for having Lonnie in my life. I miss him, but I know he’s in a good position. So to everyone here, I love you and wish a wonderful Thanksgiving. Amen, she said before the food was served.

Arizona Family captured the moving moment Dench thanked for the years she spent with Lonnie

Arizona Family captured the moving moment Dench thanked for the years she spent with Lonnie

After her death, Dench shared a post about the love her husband had for others

After her death, Dench shared a post about the love her husband had for others

Lonnie died of COVID-19 on April 5, just days after contracting the coronavirus.

After her death, Dench shared a post about the love her husband had for others.

“He had the true heart of love, like no other,” she posted on social media.

“He did so many acts of kindness that no one has ever heard of. He was my hero. And I’m a better person because of him.

Dench became a public figure in 2016, after accidentally texting Hinton inviting him to his family's traditional holiday lunch in Mesa.

Dench became a public figure in 2016, after accidentally texting Hinton inviting him to his family’s traditional holiday lunch at Mesa.

Dench became a public figure in 2016, after accidentally texting Hinton to invite him to his family’s traditional holiday lunch in Mesa.

Hinton, who was 17 at the time, told the grandmother she texted the wrong person, but then asked if he could “still have a plate, but? ”

“Of course you can, that’s what grannies do, feed everyone,” Dench replied quickly.

Hinton stuck to his reserve and Dench gave him a hug the minute he walked towards his house.

The couple have since become close friends and celebrate the holidays together every year.

Their annual meetings are documented on social networks, to the delight of millions of people around the world.

Dench and Hinton's annual meetings are documented on social media, much to the delight of millions of people around the world

Dench and Hinton’s annual meetings are documented on social media, much to the delight of millions around the world

Hinton also became close to Lonnie and paid tribute to him at Friday's dinner, saying: 'He would like us to celebrate his life instead of hating COVID and hating everything'

Hinton also became close to Lonnie and paid tribute to him at Friday’s dinner, saying: “He would like us to celebrate his life instead of hating COVID and hating everything”

Hinton and his girlfriend are seen with Wanda and Lonnie Dench in an old social media snap

Hinton and his girlfriend are seen with Wanda and Lonnie Dench in an old social media snap

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