A sign of love? Proposal comes atop US 30 billboard

Dan Walcott and Gina McCray stand together after Walcott proposed to McCray Friday. Photo by Jackie Gorski, Times-Union.
By Jackie Gorski

PIERCETON — If Gina McCray hadn’t seen the signs before of what Dan Walcott was going to propose, she certainly did Friday.

That’s when Walcott, of Warsaw, proposed to McCray, Osceola, on the ledge of a billboard sign off U.S. 30.

On the billboard was a sign that said: “Gina, will you marry me?” Also on the sign was a picture of McCray and the engagement ring.

“Well, (Walcott) gave me the ring about three weeks ago and said he wasn’t going to ask me to marry him for a while, so he did today,” McCray said.

Dan Walcott proposed to Gina McCray Friday on the ledge of a billboard off U.S. 30. The billboard says: “Gina, will you marry me?” Photo provided by Daniel Holderman Photography

McCray and Walcott had both previously lost spouses.

“Yeah, I had 38 years of a great marriage. My wife died of genetic lung cancer after a three-year battle,” Walcott said.

McCray was married for about 36 years before her husband passed away. He had a lot of medical problems, she said.

Walcott said he doesn’t do very well by himself, so he felt it was almost divine that he and McCray got along really well.

Walcott and McCray met through OurTime.com, which is a dating app “for older people, I guess,” as Walcott put it.

McCray said Walcott was her first, “my only date.”

It worked out well, Walcott said. They have been dating for about 8-1/2 months, McCray estimated. 

“I just kinda knew from the get-go that this is what I wanted to make happen and I’m committed to having a great life,” Walcott said.

When asked what attracted them to each other, Walcott said McCray is a very kind, very helpful person, who is not adverse to trying new things.

“I told her this would probably be a possibly terrifying thing for her, but if she wanted to marry me, that she’d have to go through something like this,” Walcott said, with McCray saying, “But it was actually fun.”

McCray said they both enjoyed being married before and they both found something in each other they liked.

“And everything’s fun. Everything’s great,” McCray said.

Planning of the proposal was a little tougher than building a billboard because there were so many components. Walcott couldn’t let McCray know and he had to get everyone out to the site.

McCray just retired from Burns Rent-Alls Inc. Tool Rental in Mishawaka, which made it easier as Walcott said he just had to get her out to the site instead of having her take a day off work.

Walcott also wanted to thank Grace College for letting him borrow their billboard for the day to help with the proposal.

Walcott said he’s owned Eagle Outdoor Sign Co. Inc. since 1985. So the idea for the proposal was a natural and cool thing to do.

When asked what comes next, McCray said, “A lot of really, really great days. I asked God for someone like him and it was like he appeared and (he was) everything that I wanted. Just everything. He’s a great guy.”

“I’m going to try to meet that requirement,” Walcott said.