27,000 days of love
"I don’t cook. I don’t clean. I am not like my mother.” This was Bettie’s reply to Charlie’s marriage proposal in 1946. Charlie Koelling and Bettie Chester grew up together in New Franklin, and Charlie was smitten with Bettie at a young age. “From afar, I admired her,” he says.
Charlie served in the Navy during World War II, and when he returned in April 1946, Bettie was engaged to his once best friend. “He was not my best friend,” Charlie said. “Well, not now,” Bettie says with a smile. Four months later, they married in an intimate five-person ceremony on Aug. 5, 1946.
It has been 75 years since Bettie said yes to Charlie’s proposal — 75 years full of love, family and memories. They have two children, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Even at age 95, their spirits remain young. They have spent over 27,000 days of their lives facing challenges together and cherishing each other’s dreams and aspirations.