Happy days continue even after 60 years | PostIndependent.com

Happy days continue even after 60 years

April E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson

Dorothy Snearly remembers with a smile meeting her husband of 60 years.At the couple’s surprise anniversary party at the Glenwood Springs Golf club Wednesday, she recalled the first time ever seeing Dale Snearly’s face.”He was in the Air Force and he came back to the town where I was teaching (in Gillette, Wyo.),” she said. “He was a nice young man with dark aviator glasses and a great smile.”Dale asked Dorothy to go golfing, a sport he still plays on a regular basis.”He stood me up,” Dorothy said, with a smile. “His alarm didn’t go off … He said, ‘Can I make it up to you?’ and I said, ‘Yes.’ So I got even – I married him.”Dorothy’s sense of humor and Dale’s penchant for practical jokes have been the backbone of the couple’s six-decade romance.”My dad is a practical joker. He jokes a lot,” said the couple’s youngest daughter, Dianne Nelson. “We’ve had a lot of humor in our life.”

Nelson laughingly told the story of her parents checking into a hotel when they were first married. Dale turned around and asked Dorothy, “What’s your name again, honey?”Dale has a way with words – and making Dorothy and his family laugh.He has been known to say, “Life begins when the kids move out and the dog dies.”And when asked how his parents maintain marital bliss after 60 years, David Snearly says his father simply has two words:”Yes dear.”The Snearlys also share deep-rooted respect for one another – especially as parents – in their marriage, David said. The Snearlys, both 85, have five children, 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.”They both took parenthood as a mutual responsibility,” David said. “But Mom was the disciplinarian.”The family vacationed at Yellowstone National Park and traveled to Seattle for the World’s Fair in 1962 – the first World’s Fair after World War II.

“I’m really lucky,” David said. “I had four siblings, but we all felt special. We just had active, outdoorsy parents.”Dianne remembers a fun childhood surrounded by her siblings, who were also her best friends when the family moved from Montana to Illinois to California.”I just remember how (my mother) let us destroy the house with our inventions,” she said. “We had forts in the basement and took over parts of the house to make scenes from ‘The man from U.N.C.L.E..'”Following in their parents footsteps, the Snearly children also liked to putt around and swing the clubs.”We set up a miniature golf course in our backyard,” Dianne said. “Our house was the magnet in the neighborhood.”Along with golf, Dale has always been a fan of basketball.”My father had five kids because he wanted a basketball team,” David joked. “My father had two passions in life – my mother and the family, and basketball. Basketball has given way to golf.”

Today, Dale spends his time on the links and as an accountant, even at 85. He recently celebrated his 20th anniversary working as a controller at Sandy’s Office Supply.”Dale’s just a very nice, civilized man,” said long-time friend and golfmate Hugh Warder, of New Castle. “He’s very pleasant to be around. We like him because we let him keep the books.”Even his friends are jokesters.Dorothy is known around Glenwood Springs for her skills as a YouthZone volunteer. She helped establish the Garfield County Literacy Program. And she recently took over as Lion’s Club president after her husband fulfilled his role.”I moved here in ’82 and have yet to meet many people who haven’t met my parents,” David said.Hiking in the valley and climbing Colorado fourteeners keeps Dorothy active, too.”Mom does a lot of hiking,” Dianne said.David said instead of sitting at home, his mother was busy hiking mountains in her 70s.

“She kicked it into overdrive when the kids left the house,” he said.Laughter, longevity and love prevail as Dale and Dorothy celebrated their diamond anniversary Friday. “They have used humor throughout their lives, and being active,” Dianne said. “You wouldn’t believe they’re 85. I think that has been their saving grace.”Contact April Clark: 945-8515, ext. 16601aclark@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO

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