His shift at the laundry led to the altar

08/02/2014 7:00 AM

08/02/2014 6:52 PM

When Chuck Young volunteered to serve on a Navy ship, the military sent him to a naval air base in Olathe to get laundry training.

It was December 1943, and 18-year-old Chuck noticed that Peggy Huggins, also 18, was the cutest girl in the laundry. Peggy’s mom worked there, too, and Chuck often talked to her. Through her, he got acquainted with Peggy.

“We girls always looked the guys over when they arrived,” Peggy says. “Chuck was very good-looking.”

One night Peggy dropped into the local dance hall. Chuck was there with another girl. But he walked over to Peggy and said, “I’d like to walk you home, if you wait until she leaves.”

After that walk home, they started dating.

First impressions:

Peggy: “Chuck didn’t drink or smoke, and he seemed like a real nice boy. I felt we were compatible.”

Chuck: “I liked Peggy from the beginning. I was shy and she was very easy to talk to.”

The unfolding: For their first date, they went roller skating at the Pla-Mor in Kansas City.

In the spring of 1944, Chuck proposed as they sat in his car in front of her parents’ house.

Peggy was surprised and delighted. She told her mother, “I’m going to miss work tomorrow. I need to get our marriage license.”

“You better make sure he’s the one you want,” her mother replied. “You’re going to have to live with him the rest of your life.”

A justice of the peace married Chuck and Peggy on June 17, 1944, in Paola, Kan. In 1945, Chuck spent nine months on a troop transport.

Careers: Chuck worked at Kansas City Power & Light Co., laying underground cable. Then he worked for Hyer Boot Co., and he later owned a Western wear store. He also worked as a manager at Wal-Mart. Peggy worked in the office at Hyer Boots and also at the store.

Family: They live in Paola and have four children, eight grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

Favorite shared activities: They’ve enjoyed bowling, fishing, boating and playing cards and games.

What keeps their relationship strong: On the rare times they argued, they referred to their marriage vows.

The qualities they most appreciate in each other:

Peggy: “Chuck was a hard worker and a great provider. He is the man for me.”

Chuck: “Peggy is a good mother and wife. I love her very much.”

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

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