LPW residents share love stories

Published 5:44 pm Saturday, February 16, 2013

Jim and Clarice Adkins met in 1952, while they were working at the Classified Message Center at Fort Monroe. Clarice died last year. They had been married 59 years.

By Susan Stone
Special to the News-Herald

Valentine’s Day turns our thoughts toward love and love stories. Whether couples have been married six or 60 years, they fondly recall those days when the spark ignited.

Some of the residents of Lake Prince Woods Retirement Center spent time this Valentine’s Day reminiscing about how they met their sweethearts.

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For Shirley and Michael DeBernard, the spark ignited at Riverside Roller Skating Rink in Washington, D.C., in January 1943.

She was a senior at Washington and Lee High School in Arlington, he a senior at Central High School in D.C. They began going to the skating rink with their own group of friends and eventually got to know each other. Soon they were meeting every weekend and in August 1944 they were married. The happy union produced five children.

The DeBernards moved to Lake Prince Woods in 2008 and enjoyed several years together before Mr. DeBernard passed away. They had celebrated 65 years of marriage.

North Avenue Beach in Chicago was where Joan and Duane Hass began their romance. She was a senior in high school, and he was a senior in college. She and her girlfriends came to the beach one weekend and had a great time in and out of the water and playing cards. A group of young men had their beach blankets next to them.

The next weekend, both the girls and the guys came back to the beach and started playing cards together. Like a young lady was taught, Joan did not give Duane her telephone number the first time he asked. The next time he asked, she did.

Their first “real” date was on a riverboat that featured dinner and dancing. Chicago had a lot of dance clubs, and many of their dates were spent dancing.

Joan and Duane moved to Lake Prince Woods in July 2002 and celebrated their 50th anniversary the next month. They both sing in the Golden Voices choir, and Duane enjoys taking advantage of exercise classes.

Jackie Dudley’s relationship with her future husband Raymond began with a blind date with someone else. In the fall of 1949, Jackie was a new teacher in Suffolk living in “The Teacherage” with 17 or 18 other teachers.

A blind date with a young man in January 1950 was pleasant, but not particularly memorable. The next day the young man called his friend Raymond Dudley and said he’d met a young woman he thought Raymond would be interested in.

Through a chance encounter on the street walking home from the bank, Jackie and Raymond were introduced and at 5 p.m. that night he called and asked her for a date. He would call her every night when he got home from work, and they dated several nights a week until they were married on June 23, 1951. Four children were born to the happy couple.

The Dudleys moved to Lake Prince Woods in 2006. Mr. Dudley died a few days before he would have been 93. Talking about their 58 years of marriage still brings a sparkle to Mrs. Dudley’s eyes.

Uncle Sam helped bring Jim and Clarice Adkins together. In 1952 Jim was assigned to Fort Monroe in the Classified Message Center. Clarice was working in the same office. Through office interaction, they caught each other’s eye.

At Fort Monroe there was a dock with a nice restaurant and it wasn’t too long before they were going there two nights a week. Wedding bells rang in June 1953.

The Adkins moved to Lake Prince Woods in 2009. Clarice passed away last year after 59 years of marriage.