Jane Ruth and Donald P. were married Sept 29, 1946 in Shaker Heights, Ohio

Jane met Don when Don was a young 18yr old sailor in the USN, in 1945.  He signed up when he was 17.5 because it was shortly after WWII and jobs and housing were hard to find.  While stationed in Rhode Island, Don had leave and hitchhiked up the New England coast toward a big amusement park in Massachusetts, Lincoln Park in Dartmouth, looking for girls.

Jane was from New Bedford, Mass. working as a secretary at Camp Edwards military base.  She and a girlfriend enjoyed going to the amusement parks on weekend to dance at the big dance hall to live big band music and flirt with the men in uniform.

As fate would have it, the tall blonde blue-eyed Don met the tiny dark haired spitfire, Jane on a summer evening.  They were to meet the following day at the beach but Don forgot where, so he asked a bus driver where the girls would go to the beach and the bus driver took him to a beach and it was fate as Jane was there.  They were inseparable ever since.

A whirlwind romance followed and four months later they were married in Don’s hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.  Don’s mother had to rush to plan the event which was a lot of Don’s family and the reception was at his parents’ house. Her wedding dress was made by someone in the family (unfortunately do not remember who) as they had very little money in the beginning of their lives together.

They set up housekeeping in the home of Don’s parents because of the housing shortages after the war.  Eventually, they got lucky and landed a tiny apartment in the Navy Projects.  They had to share a bathroom down the hall with other families and they had to bathe at the kitchen sink, still, it was the first place of their own and were glad to get it.  Very different from today’s young married couples.  Eventually they were able to build a small 4 room house out in the suburbs and from there Don rose the ranks of the Greatest Generation in corporate sales and Jane made being a wife and mother her career.

Over the course of their lives, they lived in 27 different houses in 7 states, Summering up north in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and wintering in Florida.

They were married for 63.5 years when Don passed away in 2011 and Jane has never gotten over losing the love of her life.  They had a ball in their lives though, played a lot of golf, entertained far and wide,  danced a million miles, traveled as far as China.  They had a wonderful life.  Their legacy is 2 children, 4 grandchildren and 4 great-granddaughters.

Cindy D. is a daughter and has arranged for Heritage Garment Preservation to restore and preserve her mothers wedding dress as a symbol for her children and granddaughters of how great life can be if you stick through the rough patches in a young marriage and learn the art of compromise.  It’s never 50/50….it’s always different, sometimes 60/40, others it’s 20/80….but if you are willing to forgive and laugh together, work together, you can make it through almost anything.

Something old, something new...
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