The North Bend Eagle


 

Sweethearts require more than Valentine's Day gifts

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 2/15/12

Valentine’s Day was just a day ago. The high school office was filled with flowers, balloons and candy for newly blossomed sweethearts (though the staff did receive some from their longer standing sweethearts).

ValentinesDave and Sally Hamilton celebrated their 62nd anniversary two days before Valentine's Day.

What are the secrets to making these new relationships last?

Sally Flora met 20-year-old Dave Hamilton at a St. Patrick’s Day dance at the Schuyler Oak Ballroom her junior year of high school. The 15 year-old was not smitten immediately, but they dated on and off before developing an exclusive relationship. When she graduated from North Bend High School at the age of 16, they were engaged and married on Sunday, Feb. 12, 1950. Sallly was 17 and Dave was 22.

“They said it wouldn’t last,” Dave said with a laugh.

But 62 years later, the couple is still together having shared a lifetime of memories. What was the secret to their long lasting marriage?

“We were married at a time when you got married and stayed married,” Sally, 79, said.

Common interests helped.

“We didn’t have any reason not to (stay married),” Dave, 84, said. “We always got along, liked the same things. There was no reason not to have it last.”

What was life like when starting out 62 years ago? The Hamiltons were married in the North Bend Methodist Church. Sally was living in Fremont and her sister Eva’s fiance, Lloyd Roubal, picked the two sisters up along with the wedding cake – which Sally held on her lap – and brought them to North Bend. It was snowing, but the church was full, Sally remembers. The reception was held in the parlor on the south side of the church with cake, ice cream, nuts, and punch. The newlyweds drove to Omaha that night and then drove on down to Arkansas for a honeymoon. In December their first child was born. Dave had a job in construction but the company closed before the end of the year and he went back to farm with his father. He retired from farming in 1999 and after 17 years of wintering in Arizona, they are living year-round in the home they built in North Bend in 1968.

“He has his room with the computers and I have my area with my crossword puzzles and reading,” Sally said. “It works out really well.”

As for a Valentine’s Day celebration, they usually tie it in with their anniversary celebration. They have a special restaurant they like to go to and did so Sunday.
Francis and Pat Minarick have been married 63 years as of last Sept. 28.

“Give and take,” Francis said right off when asked the secret to their years together.

Wilbur and Lenora Schuetz will be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary March 2. When asked the secret to a long marriage, Lenora responded, “Is there one?”
With a little more thought, she said learning to say “I’m sorry” is important.

Dean and Marlene Lux will celebrate their 54th anniversary May 14. Marlene had a few words of advice for a successful marriage: “Communication. Patience. Lots and lots of love.”

Irish and Doris Krepel will celebrate 64 years June 4. Doris agreed that give and take was important in a marriage.

“We love each other,” Irish said about their marriage. “We’re great buddies. We like to do things together, travel, go to basketball games.”

Charlie and Jan Vopalensky will reach their milestone 50 years of marriage Dec. 28.

They were married on a cold day but have kept their marriage vows warm with what Jan said is the secret to a lasting marriage: compromise.

So high schoolers, here are some lessons to be learned to make your sweetheart last for many Valentine’s Days to come.

<<Back to the front page