A.L. “Jim” Smith today will celebrate 70 years of marriage to his wife, Dorothy.
But it’s not the only day they celebrate together.
Jim and Dorothy also share the same birthday.
Jim was born on a farm north of Leavenworth Dec. 28, 1919; a few miles away, Dorothy was born the same day on a farm south of Leavenworth.
“And not in a hospital,” Jim quickly quipped. “Those days, everybody was born at home.”
They met at Leavenworth High School and on Sept. 8, 1940, Jim Smith married Dorothy Hashagen.
Jim worked in a machine shop in Leavenworth and Dorothy delivered mail as a rural mail carrier before they started a welding supply company, which they operated for about 33 years. They then sold the business to one of their two sons, who later sold it himself. They sold the business more than seven years ago at age 83.
“Don’t you think at 83 that was time to get out?” Dorothy said with a smile.
Jim quickly chimed in.
“If it hadn’t been for my age, I would have still been there,” he said.
The couple also farmed and now like to spend considerable time gardening.
Asked what has kept them together for so many years, the couple playfully joked back and forth.
“Livin’ afraid of her all these years,” Jim said, acting as though he was cowering from his wife of 70 years.
Jim said he also reminds his wife that in 70 years he could have dated several women.
“Yes, and you probably would have been dead,” Dorothy said, not missing a beat.
Jim then pointed out that he must have liked Dorothy’s cooking to stay with her that long.
Though today marks the couple’s 70th anniversary, they will celebrate their milestone anniversary from 1-4 p.m. Sunday at 16571 Lecompton Rd. in Leavenworth. The couple asks that relatives, friends and neighbors join them for lunch that day. And, they ask that no gifts or cards be sent.
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