It started the winter of 1948 in Kansas. It was a chance meeting between Earl and Dolores. They attended church and school in different towns, so meeting was unlikely until they both attended a church Christmas party. Dolores went with her friend who was Earl’s cousin. They were introduced and the rest is history! They dated for a few years before getting married and have now been married for 69 years. They say what has made their marriage successful is they were well acquainted friends before getting married and they truly live out the commitment of “for better or for worse”. When problems arise, they talk it out and get through them together and always go to bed with a happy heart.
After high school, Earl served in the Air Force for 4 years beginning in 1950. After leaving the Air Force, Earl attended junior college for 2 years and then Kansas State for 4 years. He earned his Veterinarian degree for large animals. He worked in a clinic as well as for the Zoo in near Garden City, Kansas. Dolores chuckles about some of Earl’s stories working with these unique animals. She tells of a story when he worked on a camel. The camel had a large mass on his leg. Earl was below working on the animal while a crowd gathered and watched. He removed the mass and “plopped it on the ground”. A woman next to Dolores started crying thinking he had removed the camel’s heart. While the camel was a fun and unique animal to work on, elephants and giraffe’s were his favorite. Not only are they nice, but they are so big that it’s a challenge! He did make sure to say he did not like working on the bears or lions though because they had a bit of a temper.
Earl teases that Dolores worked harder as a “Domestic Engineer”. She raised their 4 daughters and 1 son. Their youngest daughter was born with a hole in her heart. At the time surgery was not even considered an option. They smile when they describe her as a strong child. While still young the doctors told her she should not attend school due to her condition. She was determined to prove that she could do it. Not only did she graduate from high school but she continued her studies by traveling to Manhattan, Kansas to attend college. Shirley passed away at age 24. They also lost their daughter Karen at age 32. Earl and Dolores’s other children are grown and live in Colorado, Missouri and Alaska.
After retirement Earl and Dolores moved to Arkansas. Earl enjoyed fishing for bass and trout and hunting for quail and pheasant. They eventually moved to Colorado to be closer to one of their daughters. Earl continued to enjoy fishing and even gave fly fishing a whirl. Dolores loves to play Duplicate Bridge at the Greeley Senior Center and is looking forward to when she can go again after COVID ends.