A platinum Valentine’s Day!

What better couple to feature in a Valentine’s Day post than Glenn and Dolores Coates, who have celebrated 72 years of marriage and counting! 

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When Glenn Coates traveled with a friend to Minnesota in 1941, he didn’t know he’d be meeting the woman he’d spend the rest of his life with.

“{My friend} had a girlfriend in Duluth and he said I’m going up to see her and I said I’ve never been to Duluth,” said Glenn.

It was on that spontaneous trip that Glenn’s friends set him up on a blind date with Dolores.

“Dolores was somewhat reluctant,” said Glenn. “She said ‘I’d really rather read a book.’ She kindly agreed to spend the evening with me.”

They liked each other so much, they decided to take a short trip to Canada, despite Dolores’ parents protesting the idea. At the time, Glenn was 18 and Dolores was 17.

Their time together came to an end and Glenn traveled back to Milwaukee where he was attending college. The pair couldn’t give up on each other so they wrote letters to each other every day for three years.

The next summer, Glenn got a job in Duluth so they could spend time together.

“By then, I was pretty sure that I was in love with her,” said Glenn.

Glenn was drafted into WWII six months later, separating the pair again. He was sent to many places, eventually ending up in Virginia. It was there on a phone call one day, Glenn told Dolores he wanted to marry her.

“Then something wonderful again happened because she agreed,” said Glenn. “This brave soul got on a train from Duluth, Minnesota and came to Washington D.C.”

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They married on June 24, 1944 in a United Methodist Church in Virginia. Neither of their parents attended, so the local district attorney walked Dolores down the aisle.

They went on to both graduate from the University of Wisconsin and had two children together. They moved into the Primrose Retirement Community in Mt. Pleasant, Wis., two years ago.

Glenn says his wife has memory loss problems now and he’s not sure she remembers all of their good times together.

“We were apart for so long during from the time we met until I got out of the army, it was all by correspondence,” said Glenn. “When you’ve been apart that long, wanting to be together, once you get together, you don’t risk breaking up again.”

After almost 73 years together, Glenn says their advice is to always make up.

“You must never, ever go to bed after an argument,” he said. “You heal everything before the day ends. Things always look better in the morning.”

They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary having brunch with friends at a country club. Glenn is now 93, Dolores is 92.

“We still love each other, we respect each other, we enjoy each other,” he said. “We lived happily ever after I guess you’d say.”

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