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Oak Crest Couple Celebrates 70 Years Together on Valentine's Day

February 15, 2017

It was the last day of school at Hamilton Junior High, and young Jack Orth saw a beautiful girl named Mary across the street at a confectionery store.  He told his buddies, "I'm going to marry that girl someday."

He finally got the nerve to ask her out, and their first date was two months later in August.  That night, Jack told Mary, "I'm going to marry you someday."  Without hesitation, Mary replied, "You're out of your mind!"

Turns out, Jack really wasn't!  Seven years later on Christmas Eve, Jack and Mary drove to a brightly decorated house located on the corner of Belair Road and Parkside Drive.  The engagement ring burning a hole in his pocket, he proposed then and there.  The rest is history.

They were married on January 30, 1954 and enjoy a loving family of four children, five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.  The couple has lived at Oak Crest for nearly seven years and will have a Valentine's Night dinner at the community's Oak Room Restaurant.

To young couples, Mary advises to "be with someone who is fun.  Jack has always seen the glass half full.  He's the most optimistic man I know."

Dr. Orth often pens letters to his children and grandchildren, an enduring way of passing his life experiences to them.  About his marriage to Mary, he wrote:

"Looking back at our relationship as a young couple and comparing it to our relationship now clearly reveals that loving one another for all these years has been a growing process that takes, not only time, but energy and thought and planning and care and the constant intervention of God.  I think that as a young couple, our relationship was more physical, more material, more superficial, more selfish.  Now it is deeper, trusting, peaceful.  Mary and I, what were once desires in our youth, have become needs in our later years.  We not only love each other, we need each other.  We are one flesh.   And it has been an incredible journey that takes a lifetime to understand."

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