Double the reason to celebrate

On Valentine’s Day, Jack and Kathy Duval will celebrate 45 years of marriage.

It has been said all you need is love, but a little chocolate probably doesn’t hurt either. When February 14 rolls around each year, Jack and Kathy Duval have twice the reason to indulge in the sweetness of the day, as Valentine’s Day is also their anniversary. This trip around the sun sees the couple celebrating 45 years.

Jack grew up on a farm northeast of Forest, Wisconsin, while Kathy grew up on a farm in Emerald.

In 1974, Jack was laid off from Anderson Windows and he had a part-time bartending gig at Kistners Korners in Connersville. “I was with people I babysat for at the time when I saw him there. He asked me out upon asking the father of who I babysat for if he could take me to a movie,” said Kathy.

After a viewing of the movie Billy Jack in Glenwood City, the coupled continued to enjoy each other’s company. Kathy said, “We had a lot in common and had fun with our friends and family. Jack’s sense of humor was ‘The One’ for me.” Jack said it was Kathy’s smile that made him realize she was the one for him.

December 12, 1975 the two were at his parents’ house. While his Mom and Dad were in the barn milking cows, Kathy was on the couch watching television when Jack got on his knees, put a ring on her finger and asked, “Will you marry me?”  Kathy said she was surprised and happy.

February 14, 1976 was a beautiful sunny winter mild day. The couple was married at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Glenwood City. “The annual snowmobile derby was that weekend and the snowmobile trail was behind the church for them to get to the derby event during our ceremony! Our wedding dance was at the Emerald Legion and the weather changed to rain and froze to ice around the parking lot at the Legion and our trip home on Highway 64 was interesting with Jack’s 1974 Dodge Dart Sport car that he had. At times we were going sideways and sliding.  Once we got to the place we rented; he tried to carry me (that across the threshold thing) with his tux shoes still on and it made for a slippery maneuver that did not get accomplished,” said Kathy.

Like most couples, life has thrown the Duvals ups and downs, but they have faced every good and bad moment together. They raised three girls April (Lyle), Karen (Brian) and Jill (Brian). They also had a set of twin-boys that were born on February 5, 1979 at 27 weeks and did not survive. They are proud grandparents to Isabel (18), Carter (16), Camryn (12), Nathan (11) and Natalie (8).  

“We laugh when we talk about our years and always tease each other and say it was just like yesterday. Jack still has his sense of humor! We are a typical couple that worked and raised a family during the years, always instilling in our girls, a good work ethic,” Kathy said. “We were involved in 4-H, church, school sports, band, archery club, etc. so involvement with helping and working with others prepared them for their life’s careers.”

 She said she budgeted with coupons when grocery shopping. “The girl’s tell those stories to their kids of the blue box full of coupons and how if they wanted something it had to be in the coupon box before they could get it and if they behaved in the grocery store they would be able to get a treat at the Dairy Queen or Hardees! So many stories and not enough newspaper print,” said Kathy.

As far as the future, the couple said they have always enjoyed life, family and friends and continue to do so. Staying healthy nowadays has become important and they pray that continues.

When asked if they have advice for young couples they said, “The usual Give and Take method, listening to each other and having patience with each other. Laugh with each other and having alone time for each other or having a sport or career is okay for each other. Hugs are good too!”

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