My Aunt Dot and Uncle Ted will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary on March 31st.
This photo was taken last Saturday at a party to celebrate this milestone. My aunt (who is my dad’s older sister) is wearing the hat she wore on her wedding day in 1946.
They met when they were both 16 years old at a Halloween party. Upon walking into the party, my aunt was handed a number and told that the game “Post Office” was being played. (Not being familiar with this game, I had to ask the rules. Turns out it’s very simple. Each person has a number and when someone calls your number you have to kiss them). My uncle had immediately noticed the lovely petite redhead, managed to discover her number and called it as soon as he could. Within minutes of arriving at the party, she found herself kissing my Uncle Ted.
He was instantly smitten and asked her out that night.
She refused, but Ted was undeterred.
Every single day, when he knew Dot was home, he walked by her house with a different girl in a blatant attempt to make her jealous.
Eventually, she agreed to go on a date… and finally accepted one of his many marriage proposals… six years later!
They married in Jacksonville, Florida at a Methodist church across the street from the USO. Ted had served in the Navy during WWII (he was an electrician, first class) and one of his Navy buddies and his wife were going to be their witnesses. However, the wife was sick, which meant they needed another witness. Ted ran across the street to the USO to ask if anyone would mind serving as a witness. The woman who agreed spent the entire time trying to talk them out of getting married! She was going through a divorce and didn’t understand why anyone would want to get married in the first place.
Clearly, they ignored her advice. 🙂
Prior to her marriage Dot was working as a receptionist for the National Steel company. She was told she must vacate the job once she was married because a woman’s place was in the home!
Choosing to go against the cultural grain, she simply found another job and worked for several years until my cousin Missy entered the picture.
Ted retired in 1981, which allowed the couple to travel around the world. Dot’s favorite place was the Canadian Rockies, while Ted loved the beaches of Hawaii.
In 1984, their granddaughter Sarah was born and she (and her mom Missy) continue to be the light of their lives.
When asked what advice they would have for other married couples, they both said:
1) Always be honest with each other
2) Never go to bed angry (given that my aunt is a fiery redhead, she admitted that there have been some very late nights!) 🙂
Interestingly, my aunt added one more piece of advice for the women and that was to “be a career lady.” She told me that when she served as a nurses’ aide for the Red Cross at Charleroi hospital during WWII, she loved assisting in the operating room and dreamed of one day becoming a surgical nurse.
Dot and Ted have lived in the same house for 55 years. I love to visit each time I go home to Pennsylvania, as happy memories of family gatherings fill my mind and the heavenly smells of my aunt’s cooking greet me the second I walk through the door.
Please join me in wishing the happy couple well as they celebrate this amazing milestone! Happy 65th anniversary Dot and Ted…we love you! 🙂