Dan Gates was excited about a blind date.
It was April 1964, and 24-year-old Dan was finishing his seminary studies in Kansas City, Kan. He had an opportunity to speak as a guest preacher in Boone, Iowa, and a friend had arranged for him to meet the host minister’s daughter, Edie Eicher, 22.
That Saturday night, Dan and Edie had dinner with his friend.
Dan: “She was a beautiful lady. I could tell she was someone who was kind, loving and spiritual. I felt God had set up this date.”
Edie: “He was nice-looking and very solicitous. We seemed to have a lot in common.”
The unfolding: Dan preached on Palm Sunday. That evening, he and Edie talked in depth. “The romantic spirit was right there in our conversation,” Dan says.
At 3:15 Monday morning, Dan called the friend who introduced them and said, “This is it! This is going to work!”
Edie also felt she had met her husband. “We had a mutual understanding and felt that God was in the midst of the relationship,” she says.
The proposal and wedding: Dan soon flew up to visit, and one weekend in May, Edie drove here to see Dan. He showed her a list of his upcoming life events: graduation, ordination, wedding, new job. She looked it over with him.
As they drove to get gas, Dan asked, “Is there anything I can do for you?” Edie answered, “Yes, you can ask me to marry you.”
He asked and she accepted. They were wed on Aug. 1, 1964, in Boone.
Careers and family: They lived in Wyoming and in California, where Edie taught elementary school and kindergarten and Dan worked as an administrative consultant with a number of churches. They had three daughters; one is deceased. They also have two grandchildren.
In 2008 they moved to Olathe to be near family.
Favorite shared activities: They love being together. They enjoy music, travel and volunteering. They also like reading novels aloud to each other.
What keeps their relationship strong: Every morning, they read Bible chapters aloud and share devotions and prayer. “That time has strengthened our relationship and our faith,” Dan says.
The qualities they most appreciate in each other:
Dan: “Edie listens and talks to God a lot. She’s generous with her time, love and concern. She really enjoys life.”
Edie: “Dan is loyal, humorous, nurturing and caring. He’s a wonderful parent and grandparent and has a compassion for others.”
Deborah Shouse is a freelance writer. Suggest a Love Story couple by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.