Johnson County —
Τwenty years ago they celebrated in Hawaii. But this go around Cleburne couple Gregory and Lorene DeGroat marked March 11’s momentous milestone in their relationship in a low-key manner.
The couple celebrated the 70th anniversary of their wedding by visiting Audiologist Thomas Mahoney’s Helping People Hear Cleburne office to have Irene’s new hearing aids fitted.
“Mrs. DeGroat was being tested and that was their first time coming here,” Mahoney said. “Just a very sweet couple. Anytime I see a couple who have been married a while I’m always interested in how long because I think it makes for a great testament to marriage.
“When they told me they were married 70 years ago this day I just thought wow. I told them, ‘If Paul Harvey were alive you two would be on his broadcast today.’”
Not a trip to Hawaii perhaps, but the DeGroats said they enjoyed the day all the same.
“Oh, what else did we do that day?” Gregory DeGroat said several days after the couple’s anniversary. “Probably went to Walmart and then to Wendy’s and congratulated one another over a Frosty.”
“No, no. Don’t you print that in the paper,” Lorene DeGroat joked.
Actually, the couple initially planned a night out that day.
“We wanted to go to, what’s that Caddo Street Grill place?” Lorene DeGroat said. “But it was too windy and cold that night. But we went to Mr. Mahoney’s that day to get my ears tuned up and he discovered it was our anniversary.”
Gregory was born in Missouri and Lorene in Kansas. They wed March 11, 1944, not long after graduating high school. Gregory, 89, and Lorene, 90, met when they were sophomores in a private Christian school in Enterprise, Kan. It was a school with separate boys and girls dormitories that was “well chaperoned and well restricted in the social activities.”