Love brought Lyle and Florence Haws together as husband and wife in the fall of 1943. After nearly a century together, the couple continues to stand through the test of time.
The Hawses, residents of St. Francis Assisted Care in Turlock, solidified their eternal love for each other on Oct. 13, marking their 69th wedding anniversary.
The secret to a long a joyous marriage is simple, according to Florence.
“Good looks are always important,” joked Florence. “Even after 69 years of being a married couple, he still takes my breath away.”
But marriage takes effort all the time, even if you find the right someone.
“We’ve had our arguments and our share of disagreements,” said Lyle. “But what kept us together was the love we have for each other. I’ve also learned that there’s a lot of give and take. There’s no room to be selfish when you’re in a marriage. It’s about making your spouse happy at all costs.”
The Hawses didn’t know how perfect they were for each other when they first met in a small coffee shop in Alameda.
“I walked in the coffee shop with one of my buddies that I worked with,” said Lyle. “I see this beautiful waitress walking towards us and I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her. She was beautiful.”
Shortly after their first encounter, Lyle and Florence became two peas in a pod. Their courtship was abruptly cut short after one year, as Lyle joined the Army and was shipped off overseas during WWII.
“When I was away from Florence, I was missing her,” said Lyle. “We wrote each other all the time because that was our only way of keeping in touch. In one of our letters I asked her to marry me. She wrote yes and six months later on one of my visits back home, we got married outside of Reno, Nev.”
Returning home from combat, Lyle worked various jobs throughout California. Shortly after the war the newlywed couple went into the logging business and lived in the mountains secluded from friends and family. The couple finally settled in Newman, where they lived for over 30 years.
“Lyle was away from home most of the time because of his work,” said Florence. “I would only see him during the weekends and it was tough for me to accept at first. I eventually got passed our situation and made sure I made my husband happy every time he stepped foot on that door.”
The Hawses raised two daughters, Charlene Silva and Susan Nickols, who are now retired themselves. They have four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
The Hawses enjoy spending quality time together in their room reminiscing about the past and watching television. Lyle still treats his wife to dinner on occasion and takes her for a stroll around Turlock.
“We like to enjoy the simpler things in life,” said Lyle. “I still hold the chair back when we go to dinner and hold her hand when we go out. That’s how we keep our love alive.”