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Country music plays the language of love

Joel and LeAnne Ulmer have been married for 12 yearsPhoto by Donna O'Neil
The foundation of love between musicians Joel and LeAnne Ulmer of 2Country4Nashville began through the ties of deep friendship. 

In a profound and unusual love story, Joel and LeAnne bonded through their shared grief over the death of LeAnne’s husband, Ron, who battled brain cancer over a decade ago, and who was also Joel’s best friend. Ron’s diagnosis came shortly after the couple was married, and they were only married for a year and a half when he died.

“Our love story is one truly made from heaven,” LeAnne said.

“Joel and I realized we’d been given something very special, and we acknowledged that our friendship and shared grief had turned into something much deeper.”

“I lost my best friend, and I still thank Ron today for sending me his,” Joel said.

Now married for 12 years, the couple has been singing together as part of 2Country4Nashville at venues in Nashville and Williamson County as well as some shows on the road. The couple plans to pursue music full time once LeAnne, a Franklin native, retires from her 24-year career in education. She teaches at Freedom Intermediate in Franklin Special School District where Joel previously served as a bus driver. Although, he recently resigned to manage the couple’s budding music career.

When the couple first became close, Joel, who moved to Nashville from California to pursue music, spent time on the road a lot as a truck driver.

“I never thought about marriage much and never planned to get married.”
The couple even stopped seeing each other for a bit.

“When I was on the road, I realized that I missed LeAnne,” Joel said. “I soon decided that marriage was a good idea.”

They married just a few months later and have barely been apart since.

They both say their relationship works because they truly are best friends.

“We would choose to be with each other over anything. We look forward to seeing each other, talking to each other, and just being together,” LeAnne said. “I think our relationship is even better because we share this passion for music. We share our love on stage with our audience.”

“She has been my biggest supporter and encourager, and I try to be the same for her,” Joel said.

“When something is going on, she’s the first person that I call. We are always together sharing. My best advice for anyone is to be best friends first.”

Joel said that he is especially looking forward to this Valentine’s Day because each year with LeAnne gets better.

Posted on: 2/14/2014


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