Freeport couple celebrates 70th wedding anniversary

The couple met at a roller rink in 1951 and married in 1953.
Published: Mar. 26, 2023 at 6:26 PM CDT
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FREEPORT, Ill. (WIFR) - One lucky Freeport couple’s love story goes back to a roller skating rink in 1951. Now they’re celebrating 70 years of marriage.

The Netherlands married when the two were 18 and 19-years-old in 1953. Dave describes meeting Carol as love at first sight.

“My girlfriend says that she never met two people who deserved each other more than he and I,” Carol said.

89-year-old Dave and 88-year-old Carol Netherland recall their lives together as perfect, with lots of “I love you’s” and arguments, as Carol says, to keep each other alive.

Dave says the first moment he saw Carol skating around the rink that Friday night in 1951, he knew he was going to marry her.

“I whizzed out there, spun around, took her by the hand, and said would you skate with me and when she smiled, I fell in love,” Dave said.

But their love story didn’t begin that day. Dave says when he took Carol home, her boyfriend was waiting for her. Nine months later, they reconnected.

“I saw her again on a Friday night and that was it,” Dave said. “I wouldn’t let her out of my sight for the rest of my life.”

The love birds say the well-known secret to a long, happy marriage is to never let arguments go on for too long and to never go to bed angry.

“We make up very quickly and we still say I love you and kiss each other before we go to bed at night, that’s the last thing we do,” Carol said.

The couple’s best friend of forty years, Nancy Holtum, says Carol and Dave are people everyone should aspire to be and watching the two’s love for one another over the years has been a beautiful experience.

“I said if there’s ever two people that were meant for each other, it was you (Carol) and Dave,” Holtum said. “You can tell their love. They wear it on their heart.”

Dave and Carol say they’re thankful to still be in good health and celebrating their 70th anniversary surrounded by friends and family who never get tired of laughing at their jokes.

The couple moved to Freeport in 2006 to be closer to their church and friends. Dave worked as an auto body mechanic for 60 years in Orangeville.