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Good For You | Nova Beall

In Palm Harbor, a short honeymoon grows into 65 years

Allan G. Jr. and Marie E. Dahlgren celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with a family reunion at the Palm Harbor home of their oldest daughter, Susan Stevens, with whom they reside, and co-hosted by their oldest granddaughter, Lori Ferguson, also of Palm Harbor.

Of their years together, Mr. Dahlgren said, "We are still very much in love and are reasonably healthy, happy and active at the age of 84."

At the age of 10, Mr. Dahlgren began two years of dance and acrobatic instruction from teacher Gene Kelly before the performer left Pittsburgh to seek his fortune on New York City's Broadway stages.

Dancing would again play a part in Mr. Dahlgren's life when he met his future wife, Marie Olsson, at a USO-sponsored dance a month after entering the Naval Reserve in January 1942.

She invited him to meet her family and the couple dated each time he received liberty. After proposing in March 1942, the 17-year-olds would wait more than two years to marry.

During that time, while serving aboard the USS Augusta as an electrician's mate during World War II, Mr. Dahlgren had the opportunity to meet and speak with Gen. George Patton several times while en route to North Africa for Operation Torch.

When Mr. Dahlgren was allowed 18 days of leave to travel from a ship in Puerto Rico to a school in Yorktown, Va., the couple quickly arranged to take their vows May 21, 1944, at Trinity Church, Newport, R.I.

"I thought our honeymoon had to be a short one," said Mr. Dahlgren, "but I'm happy to learn it could last for 65 years."

After the wedding, the Dahlgrens moved to Norfolk, Va., where he finished out his active duty. They relocated to Pittsburgh where Mr. Dahlgren attended college and began his career in electrical engineering.

He worked 25 years for Westinghouse Electric, then went on to work 17 years as a plant engineer for Babcock & Wilcox, Beaver Falls, Pa.

For a time, Mrs. Dahlgren worked as a secretary at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport.She left to become a full-time wife and mother.

The Dahlgrens left Beaver Falls in 1988 to live in New Smyrna Beach for 13 years before settling in Palm Harbor.

They are members of St. Marks Lutheran Church, Palm Harbor, and Eagles Suncoast Aerie 3153, New Port Richey.

The couple have six children, 18 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren

Of her parent's enduring love affair, their daughter Susan reports proudly, "They still hold hands much of the time."

• • •

Glenn and Jeanette Clegg of Largo celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a Mass at St. Matthew Roman Catholic Church, Largo, followed by a reception with their church family. A family reunion in Ohio is also planned.

The Cleggs married June 6, 1959, at St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church, Akron, Ohio.

During the Korean War, he served as a sergeant in the Army's 8th Infantry Division.

After the war, Mr. Clegg worked in sales and operations in the trucking industry and retired from FFE Transportation, Winter Haven.

Mrs. Clegg is a homemaker and worked as a contract medical staff services coordinator with various local hospitals, lastly with All Children's Hospital, St. Petersburg.

The couple are active church and community volunteers.

In collaboration with her son and daughter-in-law, Mrs. Clegg wrote and self-published the children's book, The Eaglet That Fell To Earth.

The couple have three children and nine grandchildren who reside in Texas and North Carolina.

In Palm Harbor, a short honeymoon grows into 65 years 07/07/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 7, 2009 9:27pm]
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