Love is in the air: Couples celebrate decades of marriage by renewing vows at Plymouth Place

Published: Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 4:41 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 4:43 p.m. CDT
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(Matthew Hendrickson - mhendrickson@shawmedia.com)
Couples renewed their vows after decades of marriage in a ceremony at Plymouth Place, a retirement community in La Grange Park, on Friday for Valentine's Day.
Caption
(Matthew Hendrickson - mhendrickson@shawmedia.com)
Celebrating 67 years of marriage, Joe and Shirley Dolack feed each other cake at a vow renewal ceremony for Valentines Day on Friday at Plymouth Place in La Grange Park.
Caption
(Matthew Hendrickson - mhendrickson@shawmedia.com)
Celebrating 59 years of marriage, Bill and Mary Sue Coates share a loving glance at a vow renewal ceremony for Valentines Day on Friday at Plymouth Place in La Grange Park.
Caption
(Matthew Hendrickson - mhendrickson@shawmedia.com)
Celebrating 58 years of marriage, David and Harriett Brown listen to a chorus of singers at a vow renewal ceremony for Valentines Day on Friday at Plymouth Place in La Grange Park.
Caption
(Matthew Hendrickson - mhendrickson@shawmedia.com)
Couples at a vow renewal ceremony for Valentines Day on Friday at Plymouth Place in La Grange Park.

LA GRANGE PARK – They walked down the aisle to the Wedding March, said "I do" and fed each other cake.

For the couples celebrating Valentine's Day at Plymouth Place, a retirement community in La Grange Park, this wasn't their first time down the aisle. And even decades after their first kiss as husband and wife, their love was still as strong as ever.

"Say 'yes, dear.'" Joe Dolak joked as to the secret to a strong, longlasting marriage. Dolak, who has been married to his wife, Shirley, for 67 years, first met his wife on the baseball field.

"We had a team – guys from the neighborhood – and she kept score," Dolak said.

They were married in 1947 in Chicago, where they lived for many years before moving to Chicago's north suburbs and eventually to Plymouth Place three years ago.

"The real secret is that it takes two," Dolak said. "It's takes two, but you become one."

Bill Coates, married to his wife, Mary Sue, for 59 years, said he was more nervous the first time he said, "I do." The Coates were married in 1959 in Ann Arbor, Mich. after meeting at a church social.

"The secret to our marriage? We love each other," Bill Coates said simply.

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