Faye still loves to hear Frank’s voice

07/12/2014 7:00 AM

07/09/2014 9:57 AM

Faye Cochran didn’t realize how much she liked Frank Ronk until he left Council Bluffs, Iowa, at age 18 to go into the Navy.

Frank was a good friend of Faye’s brother. He was often around the house, hanging out with her brother and helping their dad with odd jobs and chores. She’d known him since 1941, when they were both 16, and hadn’t paid that much attention to him.

But when he left in 1943, she really missed him.

First impressions:

Faye: “Frank was nice and easy to be around. He had a beautiful voice and was always singing when he worked around the house.”

Frank: “Faye had a good personality. I enjoyed her company.”

The unfolding: Once he was in boot camp, Frank wrote Faye a letter, and she wrote him back. He came home on leave and they spent time together. Then he returned to duty, serving in the South Pacific, and Faye worked on an assembly line, building airplanes at the Martin Bomber plant in Fort Crook, Neb.

But they kept writing. As they grew to know each other through their four-year correspondence, they began falling in love.

The proposal and wedding: Faye was working for American Airlines in Chicago when Frank was discharged from the service. Frank came right to Chicago to see her.

That Christmas, he proposed and Faye said yes. They were married in Iowa on Feb. 14, 1947. Frank worked for Missouri Pacific Railroad as a telegraph operator; the family moved 16 times. They finally settled in Kansas City in 1986.

Favorite shared activities: They enjoyed bowling and dancing and belonged to four square dance clubs. They also liked traveling, particularly cruising. Frank sang in a barbershop quartet, and Faye still loves the sound of his voice.

Family and careers: Frank and Faye live in Raymore and have three children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. After the children were in high school, Faye worked in an arts and crafts store for eight years.

What keeps their relationship strong: They work with each other, talk things through and make decisions together. They are always open for compromise.

The qualities they most appreciate in each other:

Faye: “Frank’s willing to help around the house and he’s great with children. He’s very considerate and thoughtful; he even took up cooking. We get along great and we enjoy each other’s company.”

Frank: “Faye is always on time when we go somewhere. She’s a good housekeeper and a wonderful wife and mother. She’s sweet and caring and I feel lucky she’s my wife.”

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

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