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75th anniversary

The divorce rate in America has always been high, above fifty percent now. And the pressures of the pandemic aren't helping. So with all the bad news these days a little marital devotion and affection make a nice change.

In one week Jim and Irene Winnie of Ney, Ohio will achieve something the rest of us can only hope for...their 75th wedding anniversary. They met in July, 1945. Jim was in the army stationed at what was then Fort Wayne's Baer Field army base. Irene was a teller at the Lincoln Tower bank when Jim walked in the door.

'What did you like about him when you met him?' we ask. “I don't know,” says Irene, “just liked him and his ways he was quite a gentleman.”

“For one thing she was a nice looking gal and she's easy to talk to,” says Jim. “Why I kept going back I liked her right away.”

Liked Irene so much after two months of dating Jim asked her to marry him.

“When I asked she said 'You got to be kidding!'” says Jim.

Despite any reservations the couple were married July 23rd, 1945 at the Baer Field chapel. Jim would work as an aircraft mechanic then at the GM plant in Defiance. Irene would work as a bank clerk in Ney, her hometown. They had four boys and now have 22 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. After retirement 35 years ago Jim and Irene traveled, spent time with friends and doted on their ever appreciative family.

“I never saw any sort of bad thing ever. Ever!” says son George. “If you need it they'll be there for you.” 'Even now?' “Even now.”

“Always being there helping you out whenever you need it. They still do!” says son Keith.

'What advice would you have for couples?' we ask Jim “Good advice is don't go to bed mad.” he says.

“You compromise. You compromise,” adds Irene.

A simple formula for marital success, one this couple out in 21 Country have practiced for a very long time. This is Eric Olson reporting.

Eric Olson

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