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Donald and Bernice Reed

  • Donald and Bernice Reed (Family photo)

Donald J., known as Don, and Bernice M. (Jurcak) Reed celebrated their 60th anniversary at their home with family members. Their daughter, Donna, provided the food and a threetiered cake for the occasion.

While Don was home on leave from the Air Force, he learned that his former Kent State roommate, Jack, also was home from the Army. They double dated and Bernice was Jack’s date that night. About six months later, Don was home again and called Bernice for news about Jack. She was in nurses training at the time, and they ended up spending about three hours talking in the visitors lounge. Don wrote Bernice a letter and that started a regular flow of correspondence between them. Six months later, Don received orders to change his base.

This gave him the opportunity to visit Bernice for a couple of days. At this point, they had been corresponding by mail for four months. Right before Don left for Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, he had a day-long date with Bernice which included meeting his parents.

That evening, he proposed to her and she accepted.

A December wedding was planned by mail and President Dwight Eisenhower made it possible by offering an early out for surplus personnel. Don applied for it and was released on Nov. 11.

They were married in Euclid, Ohio at Shore Haven Lutheran Church. On the date of their wedding, Dec. 5, 1953, it was a very stormy night. To make matters worse, the street in front of the church was dug for new sewer pipe installations. In addition, rain and muddy walk ways were an additional hindrance.

Despite all the obstacles, at 7:40 p.m., only 10 minutes late, Bernice was escorted down the aisle by her father, Frank. It was a real family affair as the officiating minister was the Rev. Harold Storm, Bernice’s sister’s husband. Her sister, Ruth, provided the vocal music.

Their honeymoon trip to the Pocono Mountains started about midnight.

Since it was off season, the entire week at the Mt. Airy Lodge cost only $135, which included room, meals, horseback riding, hiking, rifle and archery.

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