Seattle 1978

Seattle 1978

Friday, October 17, 2014

Happy 55th Anniversary Mom & Dad!

My parents were wed October 17, 1959 and are celebrating 55 years of marriage today! 

Fall 1957, Dad was a student at the University of Washington and living in Terry Hall. He had previously spent a year at Whitworth where he was Pre-Med.  He didn't feel he was Pre-Med material and tuition was very expensive so he transferred to UW in the '55-'56 school year (? I think . . .). Here he is studying in his UW dorm room:

Fall 1957, my Mom was a 17 year old freshman at the University of Washington - she pledged a sorority and planned on earning a degree in Communications.
On campus at the UW:

My Dad writes this about their meeting and dating:
"October of 1957, I went to a sorority/fraternity open house (referred to as  "Stock Show") with Phil LeMoine and another Phil.  I noticed Bev - a short little blond in a red dress who was open and friendly.  It turned out Phil LeMoine had been trying to get us together.  We dated through April 1958 (mom had been quite sick with mono during the winter months so we didn't have very much contact then) when I joined the army - we said good-bye but kept writing." 
Mom threw a going away party for Dad before he left for boot camp and this is the earliest photo of them together (my grandparent's basement).

As my Dad wrote, my Mom was very sick that fall.  So sick that she had to drop out of the University of Washington.  Dad went off to the army before earning a degree because he still didn't know what kind of degree he wanted to earn.

"I was 16 weeks at Fort Ord (8 weeks basic, 8 weeks clerical training).  I was shipped off to Korea September 1958 for 13 months returning October 10, 1959.  Our only contact was by mail after the mono interrupted seven months we dated."
Last year, Dad gave me an old reel-to-real audio tape - we no longer had any way to listen to it. For his birthday, I had it digitally transferred and it turned out to be an audio letter he sent to my Mom while he was in Korea. It was so sweet!
I really don't know the story of the wedding proposal but a week after he arrived on leave, they were married.
The wedding shower the weekend before:

October 17, 1959

My Dad continues:
"We had a brief honeymoon in Portland, Oregon when I had to leave for my temporary assignment to Fort Benning, Georgia where I awaited my next orders.  I returned for Christmas and then left on January 5, 1960 for  Fort Sill, Oklahoma for Officer Candidate School where I couldn't take my wife.  She finally joined me August 1960.  If you count it up we had actually been together for four or five months from the time we met in October 1957 until August 1960 - our romance was primarily in writing.  I remember we ate out one night at a Pizza place in Oklahoma - we went to pay our check but someone else had picked it up for us because they had noticed us as a young couple in love - we have returned the favor to a couple of other couples during our life together."

Dad finished his time with the Army in 1962 at Fort Hood Texas - he felt his time in the army was the very best choice for him at that time.  They moved up to Seattle (with baby me) and joined civilian life; Dad started his career at Boeing. My sister Kristin was later born and time marches on.

Dad decided to take advantage of The G.I. Bill and go back to the University of Washington while still working at Boeing. In 1976, he finally earned his BA in Psychology.

The next year Mom began her quest for a degree again by taking courses at Bellevue Community College where she earned her AA and transferred to the University of Washington.  She became one of those knocked up college girls so she dropped out again. Of course we were delighted when my sister, Sarah was born.

They celebrated their 25th Anniversary in 1984 - when their oldest had been married a year and a recent graduate of the University of Washington, their middle was a senior in college and their youngest was a Kindergartner.

After Sarah was in school, Mom returned to the UW and finally graduated with a BA in English Literature in 1987.

They became Grandparents the following year in 1988.

My parents have fun together; they have stayed by each other's side.  I'm so grateful for this.






2009 - Their 50th Wedding Anniversary celebration with some of their wedding party (Phil Lemoine who originally wanted to introduce them to each other is next to my Dad)

2012 Mom and Dad with their three daughters, three sons-in-law, three grandsons and three granddaughters.

My parents have definitely modeled persistence whether it's achieving educational goals or sticking with each other through thick and thin.
Congratulations, Mom and Dad!  Cheers for  many more fun years together!


Hoz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoz said...

Jana, I tried to post a comment but not sure if it made it....Thank you for putting this together. Tears in my eyes. I do not remember a proposal, it was just always meant to be. What a wonderful tribute. Love you all, especially the "knocked up College Girl"..
Dad and Mom.

Kristen Chesmore said...

A beautiful love story and beautiful tribute to your parents.