It seems like Dale Rockey and Alice Planansky of Olathe have always known each other.
By Deborah Shouse
Special to The Star
Dale was born in 1915, Alice in 1916. They grew up in the small town of Hemingford, Neb., population 1,000, living a mere three blocks from one another.
Dale was an ornery kid, Alice says.
In high school, Alice and her boyfriend double-dated with Dale and his girlfriend. One Sunday afternoon in August 1933, Alice was sitting on her front porch when Dale stopped by in his car and asked, Want to go for a ride? His girlfriend was at work and he was killing time.
Alice and Dale enjoyed a nice ride and got to know each other better.
Alice: I liked him and I felt comfortable with him.
Dale: She was a real nice lady and easy to talk to.
The unfolding: Even though they were on the blacklist with their friends, they started to date. Dale was 6 months older than Alice, but she was ahead of him in high school and had already graduated. All was well until Dale asked another girl to his senior prom. Alice gave him the cold shoulder for a while, but then they got back together.
Marriage: After several months of dating, they talked about getting married and decided it was a pretty good idea. They were wed in Hemingford on Dec. 29, 1933.
Favorite shared activities and hobbies: They loved fishing and traveling and spending time with family. When Dale retired, they put 300,000 miles on a Ford van, driving all around the country. They also enjoyed their every-five-year family reunions, which included Alice and assorted family members baking 500-600 kolaches, a favorite Czech pastry.
Careers: Dale worked as a parts manager at a Ford dealership in Alliance, Neb. Alice was a Linotype operator for a newspaper. In 2004 they moved to the Kansas City area to be closer to family.
Family: They have five sons, 15 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
What keeps their relationship strong: I always let him have my way, Alice jokes. Dale says: We enjoy each others company. Every day they look at each other and say I love you. Even though theyve had health scares, they keep plugging along.
The qualities they most appreciate in each other:
Dale: Alice is a great cook, a jolly good person and we just seem to click.
Alice: He loves me and hes a very gentle and agreeable man. Weve lasted over 80 years!
Deborah Shouse is a freelance writer. Suggest a Love Story couple by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.