Gerald and Twila Proffitt shared a long and happy marriage of nearly 76 years.
It is the middle of winter and it is cold outside, but February is a month to celebrate love. So here are some love stories from the residents at Sterling Presbyterian Manor to warm your heart:
Gerald and Twila Proffitt
“I was 5 and she was 3 when we first met. We got separated going to high school; she went to Sterling and I went to Alden. Well, one day I went to her house and left her a note asking her on a date. She then responded with a note to tell me that she was going with another boy at the time that she was seeing on Sunday nights. She told me that I could come during the week though for a date. And so I did. It was a Wednesday, I believe, and the rest is history. We had four great kids, got nine grandkids and 19 great-grandkids, I think. Twila passed in 2013 just a few days before our 76th wedding anniversary.”
Gerald has a scrapbook in his room of all of the letters they wrote to each other throughout their marriage, including her very first reply. He invites anyone who is interested to come in, read them, and reminisce with him.
Betty and Phillip Wallace
We all know that life takes twists and turns, and it’s often in hindsight that we see the bigger picture unfolding. When Betty Wallace lost her boyfriend Jack in a tragic accident in 1955, she probably couldn’t imagine that she’d end up dating his best friend, Phillip.
“Phillip was a fine man. He drove airplanes. We were on our way to a bar one night in El Paso, Texas, and he opened the glove compartment and threw a bag at me and said ‘try that on for size,’ and there was my engagement ring. We had a daughter, Gwen, and he adopted my daughter I already had, Ruby. We were married 60 years.”
Their daughter Gwen adds a minor detail to their love story, though.
“She left out that part about their six weeks that they spent in Paris together when he was stationed over there. I was in school and stayed with my grandmother. I did not even recognize Mom when she got back because she had had such a good time going out every night.”
Now how’s that for a love story?
Dick and Susie Walker
“We both graduated from high schools in northeast Oklahoma. Then we went to the same junior college. I had heard about her, and then I saw a picture. She was on the drill team, and the photo was a promotional photo for the team, and she was in her uniform. Well, I asked her to the engineers dance. That must have been after Christmas. She had to ask around about me to lots of folks before she gave in. The dance was in March. We graduated and got engaged. And then we married in August and that’s it. Here we are 62 years later with two kids and two grandkids.”
Jean and Ralph Baker
“I grew up in Saxmon. He grew up at the edge of town, one of 13 kids. I was the only child and always wanted a family. I knew him a long time, even though he didn’t get to go to school like me, and one day he wanted to go with me. It had been a few months and I told him point blank, ‘If you are going to go with me, then you’re gonna dance.’ He did not dance, and I loved dancing; my dad taught me when I was 3. So, he let me teach him, because he wanted to go with me. And I must’ve done a good job, too, because later when we were out, people would stand around watching us. He was a good man with a good mind. We were married 68 years, I think. Three kids, seven grandkids, and great ones too. It’s not much of a love story I don’t think, but it’s my story.”
We think it’s a great love story!
Ruth and Dean Hoffman
“I was in the eighth grade, and he moved from Sterling to Alden and was a junior. Oh the girls all loved him because he had this dark black, wavy hair. Well, I said to myself ‘I’m going to marry him,’ and well, I did. He graduated at 17 and joined the navy. I finished school, and we wrote letters. Oh, he wrote these neat, romantic letters! I always kidded him that he just copied his buddies’ letters because he was not a romantic man. So when he came home we got married. We had 57 years of a wonderful marriage. Dean was a real good dad and husband. We had three kids, two girls and a boy. We have 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter who is 5.”