Dorothy and Sam Renew Their Vows

Dorothy H., 88, from Brookdale Greenville in Greenville, Ohio, met her husband, Sam, 70 years ago in high school. Dorothy was a drum majorette, and Sam, her husband, saw her on the field. At this time Sam leaned over to his friend and said “I’m going to marry those legs one day!” Soon after, Sam’s younger sister approached Dorothy and asked if she had ever met her brother, Sam. From that point forward the two began dating. Dorothy recalls the moment she knew she was going to marry Sam. There is a lake in Greenville where the locals go ice skating. Dorothy was home during winter break from her first semester of college, and she and Sam decided to go ice skating. Dorothy said “when we went ice skating together, he knelt down, took my skates off. [He was a real gentleman]. We knew then that we would spend the rest of our lives together.” Dorothy and Sam were married later that winter on February 3, 1950. Dorothy wished she and Sam could renew their vows after 66 years of marriage. 

While in college, Sam knew he would one day become a pastor. As a result, Dorothy became a pastor’s wife. She dedicated her life to helping Sam with all of his pastoral and leadership duties. Although Dorothy was not able to pursue a teaching degree, she was able to pursue her passion for teaching through running Sunday school and education programs at Sam’s church. Before this, Dorothy volunteered for several years at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Overall, Dorothy volunteered as a Sunday school teacher from age 16 to 70. 

Kristin, Resident Programs Coordinator at Brookdale Greenville, said “I was sitting in the couple’s room talking to them about their lives. They just kept looking at each other as if almost flirting. It is very apparent their love still burns strong.” Annie, Dorothy’s daughter, also noted that today, her parents will blow each other kisses from across the room and have special sayings they share with each other to remind each other of their love. Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale Senior Living were excited to help Dorothy and Sam renew their vows on November 5, 2016. Pastor Fee at Lighthouse Christian officiated the ceremony, as he was was Dorothy and Sam's pastor before the couple moved into their Brookdale community. Dorothy said "this wish was one of the highlights of our 66 years together. What a great time!"

Photo credit: Kelly Fortener, Wild Roots Photography