SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – You may be showing your love and appreciation for someone special in your life by celebrating Valentine’s Day. It can be a special day for couples as they remember how their love story began.
For one husband and wife, it’s a story that begins on the front steps of Glidden Hall at the University of Sioux Falls.
This is the place where Carol and Al Johnson met for the first time back in the fall of 1961.
Carol says she was waiting to go to lunch.
“It was a Sunday morning, he had been to church, I had been to church, both of us at First Baptist just down the street, but we hadn’t seen each other there,” wife, Carol Johnson said. “I looked at him because he had a trench coat on and a hat, and shirt and tie, very handsome, so I took a second look and the next thing I knew, we were introducing ourselves to each other.”
“She had a boyfriend, but I didn’t have a girlfriend, so it was interesting how we kept getting closer and closer and finally the personality and the smile that she had, just took over for me, this young lady was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with and have kids with,” husband, Al Johnson said.
About a year later, the two got married. While they’ve been married for over half a century, they admit, married life wasn’t always easy.
“Our parents weren’t too happy, but I continued to play football for one more year, got a job at a paint store, she got a job at Fantle’s in Sioux Falls, and so we did both work our way through what we were going through, and we had a lot support from friends who were also getting married and went to the same church,” Al Johnson said.
The couple now has three kids and six grandchildren.
Now they’re looking forward to many more years together and enjoying each other’s company.
“I think if I would say there’s any kind of a secret to the length of our relationship, it’s probably that we were able to surround ourselves with really good people,” Carol Johnson said.
“She still grows on me, I learn all kinds of stuff, that’s the exciting part of this marriage for 60 years,” Al Johnson said.
The two will celebrate their 60th anniversary on September 23rd. The University of Sioux Falls Alumni has been posting the stories of other couple’s that met at school and are now married on their Facebook page.