Still sweethearts: Brinnon couple celebrate 70th anniversary of Valentine wedding today

BRINNON — She wore a blue dress. He wore a blue suit.

The ceremony took place in the Lutheran minister’s house. The wedding supper was cooked by her sister.

From that modest start, Guttorm and Andora Halsen built a marriage that has lasted seven decades and produced 10 children, 28 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Today, they mark a union that began on Valentine’s Day 1935, and is still going strong.

“We’re lucky to have been married this long,” Andora said.

“We were really young.”

Andora is now 87, and Guttorm — called Gale for short — is 91.

But she was only 14 when they first met in a rural school in Minnesota. He was 17 and had one more year of school to go.

Both worked on family farms, both were second-generation Norwegian.

Andora said she knew he was the one from the first.

“He was a good guy,” she said. “He always treated me nice.”

The night he proposed

When she was 16, he proposed. She still remembers the night — they had just gone to a dance, and afterward, he drove her back to her uncle’s farm in his 1932 Ford Model T.

“We sat there for a while, then he said: ‘Do you think we should get married?”‘ Andora recalled.

When she turned 17, they were married in Granite Falls, Minn., on Valentine’s Day. The honeymoon was delayed until fall, when the groom was scheduled to go to Iowa to work in the cornfields.

They started a family a few years later, and had 10 children in 15 years — four girls, six boys, including twins, Jane and Jim.

In 1942, the family moved to Washington state, where Gale was house builder in the Seattle area.

The couple retired to Brinnon 25 years ago.

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