KANEVILLE – On Aug. 15, 1945, Japan surrendered, and World War II ended.
On that same day, Kaneville residents Lynette and Dave Werdin went on their first date together.
On Feb. 7, the couple officially celebrated their 70-year wedding anniversary.
“It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long,” Lynette Werdin said. “It seems like just yesterday that it was our golden anniversary and gee-whiz here we are.”
Lynette Werdin, who was 20 when they married, is now 90 and Dave Werdin is 93. The couple met at a barn dance, and Lynette Werdin knew right away that Dave Werdin would someday be her husband.
“We danced the night we first met,” Lynette Werdin said. “I just knew the first time I met him that we would get married. Somehow I just knew it.”
Dave Werdin said he probably planned on taking Lynette Werdin to a movie for their first date, “because that’s what everyone did,” but America was so euphoric about the ending of the war, theaters and restaurants were closed and the celebrations went on for days.
“We drove from St. Charles to Geneva to Batavia to Aurora and everyone was celebrating in those towns, so we couldn’t even find a place to eat because everything was closed and people were in the streets,” Lynette Werdin said. “So we came back to my house and I made him a grilled cheese sandwich.”
Cake was served rather than grilled cheese sandwiches during a celebration in their honor after a worship service Feb. 4 at Kaneville United Methodist Church, the same place where they were married on Feb. 7, 1948.
The two had become engaged during Thanksgiving in 1946 just before Dave Werdin deployed to Japan where he served with the U.S. Army 11th Airborne Division while Lynette Werdin was enrolled at the University of Illinois. Dave Werdin was discharged on New Year’s Eve in 1947, and they were married five weeks later.
According to the American Psychological Association, about 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. So what has a couple like the Werdins done to enjoy marital bliss for more than 25,000 days together?
“You can’t take yourself too seriously, and you have to work on the same things together,” Dave Werdin said. “Why be mad? In the long term what good does it do to be mad? There’s no fun being mad. You don’t feel good when you’re mad, no matter who you’re mad at so it does you no good.”
“We have the same goals, and we’re a team working together,” Lynette Werdin said. “That’s what I recommend to people.”
She also doesn’t let a day go by without recognizing how fortunate she and her husband and the rest of their family have been over their many years together.
The family includes four daughters, seven grandkids and six great-grandkids, including the youngest, Mackenzie, who celebrated her second birthday, coincidentally, on the same day as the Werdins’ anniversary.
“We’ve really been blessed,” she said. “We truly have.”