Fourteen-year-old Kay Pritchard was 5 feet 10 inches tall and needed a tall boy to take to a friend’s Easter party.
It was April 1954 in Sioux City, Iowa, and Kay had noticed a tall, nice-looking guy at her large parochial high school. One morning she approached 15-year-old Ron Sitzmann and invited him to the party. He agreed, and they had a great time dancing and chatting at the gathering.
Kay: “Ron was easy to talk to, and he seemed to be well-liked at school. I felt secure with him, knowing he was a nice guy.”
Ron: “She was attractive and interesting to be around.”
The unfolding: Later, Ron called Kay and they talked on the phone. They’d often meet at the school for sock hops. Gradually they got to know each other and fell in love. They broke up a few times but always found their way back to each other.
After Ron graduated, he went to technical school in Chicago, and Kay went into nurse’s training in Sioux City. The distance strained their relationship, and once again they broke up.
But after Kay briefly dated another guy, she realized Ron was the one for her. Meanwhile, Ron had told his mom, “I am going to marry Kay.” He moved back to Sioux City, and they began to date seriously.
The proposal and marriage: One evening in September 1960, Ron and Kay were sitting in his car outside Kay’s dorm when Ron asked, “Will you marry me?” Kay was delighted to accept his proposal and his ring. The couple were wed in May 1961 in Sioux City.
Favorite shared activities: They’ve enjoyed riding a motorcycle and traveling the country. They also like going out to eat, attending theater and spending time with their grandchildren.
Careers: Ron’s company transferred him to Merriam in February 1969. He is retired from a career as a meat cutter. Kay is retired from a career as a nursing supervisor.
Family: They live in Lenexa and have three children and six granddaughters.
What keeps their relationship strong: Their shared faith and close-knit spiritual community consistently strengthen their relationship. They enjoy being together, and they encourage each other to be their best.
The qualities they most appreciate in each other:
Kay: “Ron is my best friend. He’s kind and dependable and always there for me.”
Ron: “Kay is staunch in helping me. She’s lovable, considerate and a wonderful mother and grandmother. I don’t know what I’d do without her.”
Deborah Shouse is a freelance writer. Suggest a Love Story couple by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.