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Couple reflects on love and marriage | News, Sports, Jobs



Dorothy and Paul Hannold will celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary on June 8th. Photo by Josh Cotton

Paul Hannold and Dorothy Reed met when his family moved from Garland to Pittsfield in the mid-1930s.

He was 11 years old.

She was 10 years old.

Their story is a story of friendship that sparked a romance that would be tested, among other things, by World War II.

But they weathered these storms, built their lives together, and are a shining example of commitment and camaraderie in a society where about half of all marriages end in divorce.

On June 8, Paul and Dorothy will celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary.

“We have had a great life. The Lord has been good to us ” she said this week in an interview at their Cambridge apartment. “We could have separated several times, but we didn’t.”

You don’t have to spend a lot of time with them to see that they love each other and stay deeply committed to each other.

But that doesn’t mean they don’t, well, a little back and forth.

They said it was nothing new.

“We grew up together, swam together” Said Paul. “When we got angry, we fought.”

“I thought he was a kid,” Dorothy added. “He thought I was a kid.

Paul said so “Everything has really started to thicken” but when his brother married his sister.

“I think we always loved each other when we were kids. We hit it off, ” she added.

Their first date was rollerblading in Sheffield. Dorothy broke her knee early and sat on the sidelines.

“We had a good time but I had to ruin it”, she joked.

As their relationship grew, Paul had indicated that he wanted to marry her.

Dororthy said no first – she wanted to finish high school first.

And Uncle Sam got in the way.

So for over four years Paul was in service – overseas for much of that time as a machine gunner on an amphibious tank in the Pacific. Dorothy got a job at the Pentagon. They corresponded over the years.

It didn’t take long for Hannold to propose once they both returned to County Warren.

Dorothy said she was at her sister’s house and had not seen Paul since returning to the United States.

“He was there in the dining room. (We were) in each other’s arms. He said, “Marry me. Marry me.’ I said yes, so we started planning our wedding.

They were married five months after Hannold returned to the United States on June 8, 1946 at Pittsfield United Brethren Church, now Otterbein United Methodist Church, by Rev. Hugh Atkins.

The bridesmaids were Dorothy’s sister, Evelyn, Marian Danielson, a cousin, and Betty Long, a friend of hers.

Paul’s groomsmen were his three brothers – Leason, Keith and David.

“When I first saw her getting married, I looked at her and thought, ‘What a beautiful bride,'” Said Paul.

Dorothy remembered the storm.

“It was sunny and windy when we went to church,” she said. “When we got out there had been a tornado.”

The roads were blocked, so the photographer couldn’t come to the church, so the couple found themselves walking up the stairs from an alley in the dark in Warren to the photographer’s studio on Second Ave.

Dorothy said they didn’t have a lot of money after they got married. Paul said they borrowed his brother’s car and stayed in a cabin for a week.

“Later, when we got a foothold, (we) went on a honeymoon trip” at Niagara Falls, he said.

Paul worked for the railroad and in construction before moving to National Forge where he was a machinist for 31 years, before retiring at the age of 62 in 1986.

The couple have two sons – Gary and Mark, both separated by 16; six grandchildren – Kristen Smith, Heather Smith, Matthew Hannold, Jonathan Hannold, Jacklyn Hannold and Terry Hannold; and six great-grandchildren – Austin Hannold, Addison Hannold, Constance Hannold, Kathlynn Hannold and Dominic Otey.

“(I hope) excellent, excellent before you die, but you never know,” Dorothy said.

She stayed home and took care of Mark until he went to school, then got a job in a store and a bank. She then got a job as a baker at Youngsville High School and promoted to manage the kitchen at the Pittsfield school, retiring a year after Paul in 1987.

So what’s the trick to making a marriage work for 75 years?

“We both give our hearts to the Lord”, Said Paul. “When you put your time into serving it, time flies so quickly and you are happy and satisfied.”

Dorothy said she remembered all the people – aunts, uncles, grandparents – who were “Christians pray” for them.

“We didn’t have all of these things in the world to pull us in and pull us away,” Paul added. “We couldn’t afford to travel.”

“The pleasure was at home” Dorothy said. “(We) tried to have fun.”

But that doesn’t mean their relationship hasn’t been without challenges.

Paul said after returning from duty he would have flashbacks of things he saw in the Pacific.

“Once I had her by the throat (and) I was trying to beat her” Said Paul. “I withdrew from it and then I didn’t talk about it. I didn’t even mention it, some of the horrible things I saw.

That’s partly until he agreed to be interviewed as part of a series about WWII veterans that The Times Observer did several years ago.

“Now he never stops talking” about her service, Dorothy joked.

“We had a lot of problems, but I didn’t go home to mum and neither did he,” she added. “We made them.”

“You have your ups and downs in a marriage,” Said Paul. “Overall, we had a good marriage…. I think we would disagree on things and have a lot of arguments but we would sort them out.

“As you get older I think it brings you back to where you got married. You feel closer to each other. I do not know. As you get older, the feeling of love changes. It’s getting stronger I think… all the wonderful times we had together.

“(You) get closer,” Dorothy said. “As old as we are, each of us has special needs. I help him and he helps me.

Paul will be 97 on June 29 and 96 on September 9.

She said “love each other” doesn’t just apply when you are feeling well.

Paul said that there is “So many things you can’t do” now that he’s 90, like drying his back and feet.

“Who comes in and helps you?” Dorothy intervened.

“I’m not going to refuse a good thing,” Paul joked.

Dorothy admitted that she knew that not many people turn 75.

“It’s very special” she said. “God has been good to us.”

They don’t want a big party for what is certainly a momentous occasion.

Dorothy said they just wanted to go to dinner – they chose the Pittsfield Inn – with their family and a sister-in-law, Alice Hannold.

They shared one of their wedding photos with the Times Observer.

“I look at this picture and I remember like it was yesterday”, Said Paul.

“(It was) a long time ago yesterday,” Dorothy added.

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