'Dog the Bounty Hunter' star and fiancee say God brought them together

The newly engaged couple had their first date in church.
Francie Frane and Duane Chapman started dating last year.
Francie Frane and Duane Chapman started dating last year.duanedogchapman/Instagram

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
SUBSCRIBE
/ Source: TODAY
By Chrissy Callahan

"Dog the Bounty Hunter" star Duane Chapman says his fiancée Francie Frane is a true gift from God.

In May, the reality TV star proposed to Frane, a former rancher and hunter, less than a year after losing his wife Beth Chapman to cancer in June 2019. When they met, Frane had also recently lost her husband Bob to the disease.

In a new interview with "Entertainment Tonight," the happy couple reflect on their love story and reveal that they believe God brought them together.

The lovebirds first spoke about six months after Chapman's wife passed away. At the time, he was looking for an excavator and called Frane's husband's number, not knowing that he had died. Frane called him back and soon learned that they had both recently suffered a loss.

Soon enough, Champan asked Frane out on a date and she had a simple response: "Yeah, if you go to church."

By the end of the emotional church service, the two were holding hands and Chapman slyly declared victory, saying "Gotcha!" During his interview with "ET," the reality star said there "couldn’t have been a better pick that God picked” for him.

Chapman and Frane's grief over the loss of their spouses was a topic they instantly bonded over.

“We understood the pain that the other one was feeling and (in) those tough days and moments, we helped each other stand up,” Frane said. “We could cry with each other and talk about what we were feeling. We were able to walk alongside each other through the pain and heartbreak and it brought us together in this amazing way.”

When they first connected, neither Chapman nor Frane were seeking out love. In fact, just months after his wife passed away, Chapman told People that he would not marry again.

"We didn't expect (this.) My son thought I was going to run off and be a missionary in Africa just not to deal with life without Bob anymore. Neither one of us were expecting what happened, but God brought us together and how it fell into place was a miracle," Frane said.

As the couple looks ahead to new beginnings, they find it comforting that they can openly grieve their former spouses together.

“We're both still grieving. We're never going to leave Bob and Beth behind (or) forget about them. They'll always be a part of us," Frane said.

Chapman also can't help but wonder if his late wife played a role in bringing Frane into his life at the right time.

"I say all the time, ‘Beth, I'm glad you provided me with Francie because that wasn't on my list,’" he said.