Sharing a lifetime of love

"POULSBO - She was a freshman - a member of the Junior League and in the school play. He was a senior, on the baseball team and played saxophone in the school band. It was love at first sight. The year was 1928. His big blue eyes and dimples and wonderful personality, caught her attention said Lila Frodel looking fondly over at her husband of 70 years. It's been so long I can't remember, said Ed Frodel Sr. with a chuckle, when asked what caught his eye about her. The couple met at Hoquiam High School, went steady for about three years and then eloped Jan. 20, 1931. Lila was 17, not yet old enough to be married in the eyes of the law. We broke up for a short time one summer, but I came back and we just looked at each other and said that was it, said Lila. So in a Catholic ceremony with their two best friends as witnesses, the marriage began. They exchanged white gold bands. She now wears the diamond band that she received 16 years into the marriage. He wears a replica of his original ring, which was lost on a golf course. In those days, 17 wasn't too young to be married especially with the height of the Great Depression yet to come. My first paycheck was 46 cents, said Ed who turned 90 in December. He was fortunate enough to find work when most people could not, Lila said. He worked at a saw mill until they were married. Then he worked in a chair factory and went from pushing a broom to superintendent. Everyone was in the same boat we were, Lila said of the Depression. They had a daughter in 1934 and a son in 1935. Now they have seven grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. Ed worked as a troubleshooter for different mills and then owned his own woodworking business in Tacoma. After he retired, they went to California to visit family and were very involved with golf. This is the couple's third year in Poulsbo. They moved here to be closer to their family. I guess we just get along after all these years, Lila said. They said being considerate of one another and discussing issues when they come up is part of the bond that has kept them together. There's that and then there's love. When there's love there you can get mad enough to want to kill the other person, but you can sit down and iron out the differences, Lila said. There's a lot of love in the whole family and we're not afraid to show it, she said. They say the secret to staying together other than just getting along, is to kiss. Kiss good night every night and kiss good morning every morning, Lila said. Even if they were angry at each other, the routine never missed a beat. They also made it a rule never to fight in front of the children. Their daughter, by the way has been married for 48 years and their son has been married for about 35. "

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