They met after the war. Both of them had served this country during World War II.
Kenny had been raised right here in the San Luis Valley, in the Sargent farming area, and he has lived here most of his 90-plus years. Eunice was from Bayfield but came to work in Monte Vista, where she met Kenny.
They were both 33 years old when they married. Eunice was March to December older than Kenny. So she wouldn’t “rob the cradle,” the couple waited until the day after Kenny’s 33rd birthday to get married. He turned 33 on Dec. 5, to catch up to Eunice, and on Dec. 6 they got married.
That was 60 years ago last December.
“We never thought we would live this long,” they joked as they sat holding hands in their comfortable cottage apartment at the Colorado State Veterans Center.
For 93, they are doing pretty well. Eunice needs oxygen, and neither of them moves as fast as they used to, but they are able to live on their own, in their warm, cozy cottage. (Kenny said he likes 75 degrees year round, and he is grateful the Veterans Center cottages have both heating and air conditioning that can be adjusted to the residents’ needs.)
It’s been a good life for Kenny and Eunice. Kenny drove a tractor for some years, and then sold them for John Deere. Eunice worked in town.
He and Eunice raised three wonderful daughters. The oldest lives in northern New Mexico, so she gets up to see her folks often. The middle daughter lives in Santa Paula, California, and the youngest in Petersburg, Alaska. They all came for a big anniversary party in December.
Kenny and Eunice have been living at the Veterans Center, also known locally as Homelake because of the nearby lake, for about two years. They like the folks who work there, and they like the home cooking. Eunice joked her only objection to the food was it put on pounds. Kenny said spicy food gives him heartburn but he has other choices if the food on the menu is spicy.
“They will open a can of soup for me if I want,” he said. “They are really good about it.”
Eunice also likes the fact she doesn’t have to do dishes.
“I am getting spoiled,” she said.
It’s about time. Kenny and Eunice deserve to be spoiled. They served their country in a time of war and then for many years in times of peace. They have worked hard all of their lives. They were good parents, good citizens and good friends.
They are the kind of people who may not have stood out but stood up, may not have stepped out but stepped up and may not have lived large but lived well.