PLYMOUTH -- Lucille Danielson has a secret as to how she has stayed happily married so long. "It must have been because I hardly ever argued with Walter very much," she said.
"I guess I always agreed with him."
The Danielsons are looking forward to June 27, when they will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.
Lucille -- who will be 91 in November and looks 20 years younger -- said they have had a wonderful life together.
Walter, who will be 93 in August, and Lucille grew up on farms in Kouts.
She graduated from high school in 1934. Walter had dropped out to help his father on the farm a year or two earlier.
Walking down the street with Lucille's brother, Edgar, Walter spied Lucille for the first time.
She was a sweet 16.
"Who is that girl?" he asked his friend.
Discovering that she was Edgar's sister, he planned a double date and asked Edgar to bring her along.
"My mother said I was too young to be going out and she said 'no,'" Lucille said.
"So he started dating my older sister, Ruth."
A year and a half later, Lucille did go out with Walter. They were married in St. Mary's Catholic Church in Kouts a few months afterward.
The young couple moved down the road to Valparaiso. Lucille started working in a dime store in Gary and Walter got a job with a Valparaiso ice cream company.
For a while, both worked in the Continental Diamond Factory. Then a couple of years later, Lucille went to beauty school and Walter went with McGill's Manufacturing.
Having finished her beauty courses, Lucille drove to Indianapolis to take her state boards to become a licensed beautician.
She became very sick throughout the exams. She knew it wasn't just a case of nerves.
"I'm pregnant," she thought, experiencing extreme nausea, a condition she had with all of their six children.
There was an eight-year difference between Robert, the first son, and Rodney, the second. Darla, Reggie and Randy are about two years apart and Roger came six years later.
"I was in my 40s when Roger was born," she said, "and I was still sick to my stomach!"
The Danielsons moved to Plymouth in 1948. Walter bought a Borden's milk route and hauled milk from local farms to the plant in Hammond, Ind. He later developed a northern Indiana milk delivery route.
A truck driver, working for the Warsaw Trucking Co., he retired in 1986, at the age of 72.
Lucille had Lucille's Beauty Shops in several locations before moving to their present home in 1964, 3 2 acres next to Centennial Park on Plymouth-Goshen Trail.
She gave permanents until five years ago, when she suffered a slight stroke.
In earlier years, the Danielsons spent part of the winters in Florida and traveled, visiting most of the United States.
Lucille loves to crochet and has made heirloom afghans for her 10 grandchildren.
She is working now on a baby afghan for a future -- not yet conceived -- great-great-grandchild. She collects china cups and antique glassware.
They've been members of St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church for 58 years. Lucille served in the Altar and Rosary societies and Walter is a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Lucille is in great shape, but for the past three years, Walter has had dementia, a progressive brain dysfunction. Gradually, they've had to restructure their daily activities.
"He hasn't forgotten how to wipe dishes though," Lucille said with a smile.
He enjoys keeping their yard immaculate, going for walks, raking and picking up stray branches and sticks.
He took her hand in his as they sat together on the large living room couch.
"I wish I had a two-seater," Lucille said. "Then we could sit closer together for as long as we can."
Walter grinned and held her hand tighter.
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