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Friday, February 7, 2020

A Wyoming Valentine: Frank and Margaret White

Frank and Margaret White of Wyoming on their wedding day - Feb. 14, 1952

By Staff Writer, Wyoming Living

February 14 is filled with craft-filled excitement in preschool – and candy filled excitement by primary school. It has always been a special holiday tradition for some couples, but it seems to be just another day in our shortest month for others. But for Frank and Margaret White – it was just another holiday until 1952, when thanks to the luck of the calendar, it became their wedding anniversary – and a date with much to celebrate for the next 50 years.

Life Before Margaret
Frank graduated from Mr. Holyoke High School in 1945 and he immediately started college at New York University (NYU) in its accelerated wartime program. Even though the war had ended, Frank entered the Army in January 1946 as the draft continued. He was sent to Panama after infantry basic training. After discharge from his service, Frank graduated from NYU in 1950, and thanks to the GI Bill, he was encouraged to continue his education in graduate school at Ohio State University.
Enter Margaret

“On Christmas 1950, I came home for ‘College Students Home for Christmas’ young peoples' party at the parsonage. I met Margaret working at the kitchen sink, and... no kidding,,, I knew immediately that she was the ONE. We started dating, and then corresponding, and we sealed the deal as I finished at Ohio State.”

Ironically, Frank and Margaret had both grown up attending the same church, Second Congregational Church in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and their mothers had been friends for years! But since Margaret was four years younger and from a different community, their paths had not crossed.

After Graduation
At Ohio State graduation, Frank was interviewed by P&G and offered a job in manufacturing… in Cincinnati. “I told them I was very interested, but was there any chance that I might start at the plant in Quincy, Massachusetts?” Frank was really hoping to be closer to home and more importantly, closer to Margaret. “P&G arranged an interview, and I was hired there, 100 miles from my mother and now-cohort, Margaret”, Frank recalled (along with the 100 mile drive west he made every single weekend to see Margaret and his mother).

The Path to Wyoming
A professional career continued in Quincy, Massachusetts for five years until Frank was promoted to a new position for P&G in Cincinnati in 1956. “We searched the area, and were fortunate to choose Wyoming, where we bought a house on Lawrence. Years later, a lot became available, and we built our present house at 139 Fleming.” The Fleming house is still home for Frank, now shared with his daughter Louise and son in law, Eric Caldwell.

A Valentine Wedding 
“I hardly remember the proposal- things just progressed smoothly in 1951”, and the wedding plans were in place by graduation September 1951. “Wedding planning was easy and faced with Valentine's Day on the Saturday in 1952, it was a natural choice.” Margaret had attended a summer session so that she could finish her college work at Mt. Holyoke College by mid-year prior to the wedding.  And the wedding was naturally planned for their shared “home” church.

“My main memory of Valentine's Day in 1952 was that it was a perfectly beautiful sunny, clear February day in Western Massachusetts. That made everything perfect for the wedding, and the follow-up drive to Boston and flights to our honeymoon in Mexico.” A wonderful wedding and marriage ensued.

Valentine’s Day was a perfect special setting for each and every anniversary celebration. “I probably secretly think that everyone else should be jealous. One couple of dear friends was appropriately motivated and celebrated their wedding, the next year, as best they could - but on Saturday, February 15.

Frank and Margaret enjoyed their “Grand 50th Anniversary” before Margaret 's passing in 2006.

Frank and Margaret White were married on Valentine’s Day in 1952 and they celebrated over 50 anniversaries together before Margaret passed away.  

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