He wooed the lady in the window

06/21/2014 7:00 AM

06/18/2014 2:33 PM

David Hockensmith was walking down Main Street in Maryville, Mo., when he saw a beautiful young woman dressing a mannequin in the window of the J.C. Penney Co. store.

It was October 1942, and David was a 19-year-old student at what was then the teachers college, now Northwest Missouri State University. He looked at the young woman, and she smiled. David strode into the store to talk to her. Lois Carmichael, also 19, was pleased to meet David, but she worried she’d lose her job if she talked too long.

After a brief conversation, she agreed to meet him at the local dance hall.

First impressions:

David: “Lois had a beautiful face, wonderful eyes, a pleasant voice and a great smile. She was somebody I thought I might love the rest of my life.”

Lois: “David was a nice, kind young man.”

The unfolding: The next day, David asked Lois to lunch. That was the first of many lunches, and their relationship deepened. Within a few weeks, both realized they were in love.

David borrowed money from his brother so he could buy Lois an engagement ring. He proposed on Dec. 26, and they married on March 23, 1943, at Lois’ parents’ farm near Pickering.

Ten days later, David went into the Army and was away for three years. The separation was difficult for both of them. Lois wrote him every day. She lived with her parents, worked hard and saved her monthly $50 government stipend.

When David returned, they had enough money to buy seven head of registered Angus and move to their own place. David went into the farming business with Lois’ dad.

In 1991, Lois and David moved to Kansas City to be near family and to start a new life.

Favorite shared activities and hobbies: In the past they enjoyed traveling, spending time with family, attending church activities and playing pitch. Today, they live more quietly and treasure each other’s company.

Careers: David farmed for 20 years. Then he and Lois ran Hockensmith Electric in Maryville for another 20 years.

Family: They have three sons, nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren.

What keeps their relationship strong: They respect each other and always express their love. They also are polite and caring.

The qualities they most appreciate in each other:

Lois: “I love his kindness, gentleness and generosity. Good thing I was standing in that window.”

David: “She’s a good wife and mother. She understands me very well, and we’ve always loved each other.”

Deborah Shouse is a freelance writer. Suggest a Love Story couple by writing to lovestory@kcstar.com.

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