Northwest Love Stories

This long-running series in The Oregonian was discontinued after the April 2018 profile. While I am sad that this series has, for now, come to an end, I am deeply grateful that I was able to meet with many wonderful people, to spend some time with them in their homes, and to share their stories.

These Q&As with couples in Oregon and Washington—as they talk about how they met, their secret to successful partnership, the challenges they’ve faced along the way, and their advice to new couples today—are guaranteed to inspire.

I wrote this monthly series for The Oregonian beginning in February 2011.

For additional clips, please visit my journalism portfolio, corporate and technical portfolio, and testimonials.


Marie and Ray Mahan (April 2018)
Looking back on ‘a very good marriage’ of nearly 70 years

Bud and Barbara Rex (March 2018)
This couple’s marriage has lasted 75 years and is still rolling along

Wendell and Carole Ford (February 2018)
The secret to 73 years of marriage: ‘Just be good friends’

Jim and Dee Lawrence (January 2018)
For couple married 62 years, communication is high on the list


Doug and Betty Thompson (December 2017)
Married for 65 years, and they ‘don’t know what to disagree on’

Tom and Lynn Elliott (November 2017)
NW Love Stories: Tom and Lynn Elliott look back on 60 years of marriage

Howard and Dotty Baker (October 2017)
‘There’s always a kiss’ for Tigard couple about to celebrate 75th wedding anniversary

Arnold and Elaine Cogan (September 2017)
After 64 years of marriage, they ‘still have a lot to look forward to’

Jerry and Evelyn Leshgold (August 2017)
After 75 years of marriage, they figure they’re ‘compatible’

Lloyd and Sally Fellas and Mack and Lillian Shafer (July 2017)
One wedding plus two couples equals 140 years of marriage

Norman and Betty Elsner (June 2017)
‘Stick with it’: Norman and Betty Elsner have been married 65 years and counting

Patricia and Warren Kallenbach (May 2017)
‘We laugh at everything,’ says Bethany couple married for 70 years

Gene and Diane Tollefsen (April 2017)
From a blind date to 58 years of marriage

Seward and Theresa Eggleston (March 2017)
The first 70 years of marriage ‘are the worst’

Owen and Edith Miller (February 2017)
The secret to 73 years of marriage? ‘One day at a time’

Bernie and Jean Niemeyer (January 2017)
Portland pastor and wife reflect on 68 years of ‘very successful’ marriage


Charles and Betty Howe (December 2016)
‘2 good dispositions’ add up to 75 years of marriage for Charles and Betty Howe

Eugene and Barbara Malsey (November 2016)
Gene and Barbara Malsey have been laughing together for 70 years

Leo and Dolores Vilstrup (October 2016)
Leo and Dolores Vilstrup’s 60-year partnership in love and business

Joe and Ann Mikkelson (September 2016)
Advice from Joe and Ann Mikkelson’s 67 years of marriage: ‘Enjoy each other’

Bob and MaryAnn Raymond (August 2015)
It’s been 65 years, 0 regrets for Tualatin’s Bob and MaryAnn Raymond

Ray and Ruby Jacoshenk (July 2016)
Ray and Ruby Jacoshenk have put togetherness first for 75 years

Hollis and Shirley Hess (June 2016)
Amid Korean War, Hollis and Shirley Hess began a marriage that’s lasted 65 years

Roy and Claire Peterson (May 2016)
Roy and Claire Peterson went from blind date to 71 years of marriage

Pat and Buzz Weygandt (April 2016)
Buzz & Pat Weygandt have been best friends for 64 years

Frank and Amy Yasui (March 2016)
Frank and Amy Yasui’s 70 years together

Wilton and Margery Jackson (February 2016)
Wilton and Margery Jackson’s 70 years of doing together, together

Erik and Kaja Voldbæk (January 2016)
Erik and Kaja Voldbaek and their foundation of family


Chris and Dennis Boom (December 2015)
Dennis and Chris Boom celebrate 50 years of love and laughter

Stanley and Jean Long (November 2015)
Stanley and Jean Long’s steadfast partnership

Ray and Betty Whipps (October 2015)
Ray and Betty Whipps have been fraternizing for 70 years

Leb and Tatiana Tannenebaum (September 2015)
Living the adventure together for 25 years

Bob and Jean Christ (August 2015)
A blind date leads to 60 happy years of marriage for Jean and Bob Christ

Otto and Barbara Bombach (July 2015)
From car pool to romance — 61 years and counting for Bombachs

Paul and Ann Robinson (June 2015)
Paul and Ann Robinson share a 64-year love song

Mo and Lois Weathers (May 2015)
A silver dollar wedding dress leads to 55 years of fun (Mo and Lois Weathers)

Mario and Josephine Monti (April 2015)
Mario and Josephine Monti find joy as ‘You and me’ for 70 years

A.J. and Marie Colasurdo (March 2015)
A.J. and Marie Colasurdo enjoy the blessings of 63 years of love and family

Rey and Mebs Retzlaff (February 2015)
Rey and Mebs Retzlaff celebrate 75 years of ‘just loving each other’

Jack and Mary Takayanagi (January 2015)
Jack and Mary Takayanagi share 71 years of love and marriage


Jack and Marybeth Longbine (November 2014)
Jack and Marybeth Longbine’s friendship grew into love

Buck Jeppson and Mike Kessler (October 2014)
Buck Jeppson and Mike Kessler on love, marriage and making it work

William and Eleanor Sheldon (September 2014)
William and Eleanor Sheldon are ‘with each other and for each other’ forever

Floyd and Frances Severson (August 2014)
Frances and Floyd Severson have been making the most of every day for 70 years: NW Love Stories

Bobbie and Dale Fallon (July 2014)
Bobbie and Dale Fallon go from ‘sneaky’ chicken dinner to sharing life’s blessings

DeConnick and Fraction (June 2014)
Comic book power couple Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction on life and love

Pat and Connie O’Brien (May 2014)
Pat and Connie O’Brien on 70 years of seeing the bright side

Bud & Charlotte Robinson (April 2014)
Bud and Charlotte Robinson’s second chance at love

Ralph & Irene High (March 2014)
Ralph and Irene High count their blessings in 67 years of marriage

Vic and Wilma Morgan (February 2014)
Vic and Wilma Morgan will celebrate their 72nd anniversary on Valentine’s Day

Edna and Allan Nickell (January 2014)
NW love stories: Edna and Allan Nickell share 73 years of love and a full dance card


Earl and Eleanor Gigger (December 2013)
Earl and Eleanor Giggers say, ‘If you’ve got the love, the rest will come’

Wallace and Lutherine Strand (November 2013)
For 68 years, the Strands have grown deeper in love

Bud and Dorothy Resner (October 2013)
Bud and Dorothy Resner have been married 65 years

Frank and Penny Starr (September 2013)
A partnership of adventure

Dave and Ann Lau, and Pat and Jean Duffy (August 2013)
Make it a double: Pat and Jean Duffy; Dave and Ann Lau

Natu and Kusum Patel (August 2013)
‘Different nature’ nurtured (Natu and Kusum Patel)

Fred and Muriel Schelb (July 2013)
Patience is secret to love

Bobbie and Dona Robinson (June 2013)
Bobbie and Dona Robinson say the key to almost 65 years of marriage is to ‘go with the flow’

Marvin and Doris Wyman (May 2013)
Love lost and found

Raymond and Viola Rose Daoust (April 2013)
Love, in the wink of an eye

Martha and Ham Chiotti (March 2013)
The secret to loving happily ever after (Martha and Ham Chiotti)

Bob and Barbara Krise (February 2013)
Shared hobbies and a daily doughnut craft a happy marriage

Eric Marcoux and Eugene Woodworth (January 2013)
For 60 years, ‘there wasn’t anything else’


Robert and Barbara Montgomery (December 2012)
‘Take your time!’ Portland couple advises newlyweds

John and Ruth Hansen (November 2012)
72 years as a tightknit pair

Eldon and Anne Bartlett (October 2012)
It began with a dance

Jack and Adelyn Willford (September 2012)
‘Hanging in there,’ through war and peace

Howard and Grace Horner (August 2012)
For 70 years, music to each other’s ears

Melvin and Carol Graeber (July 2012)
The Graebers celebrate more than 65 years together

Liz Schwartz and Beth Hamon (June 2012)
Finding the ‘extraordinary in the ordinary’

Sang (May 2012)
Through war and peace, their love always grows (The Sangs)

Schlegel (April 2012)
Secrets to a long and happy marriage of 73 years (The Schlegels)

Bugs and Rainy Hill (March 2012)
Bugs and Rainy Hill: A bond forged in high school has brought joy to a couple for 71 years

Allen (February 2012)
Companions in love and volunteering

Truman and Ila Moultrie (January 2012)
After 70 happy years of marriage, Truman and Ila Moultrie keep thinking young


Lila and Odel Butler (December 2011)
Lila and Odel Butler, married and still listening after all these years

Speer (November 2011)
For the Speers, married life began with a carnival

Elden and Theresa McRobert (October 2011)
Long marriages: Elden and Theresa McRobert share 70-plus years of give-and-take

Ed and Edith Roediger (September 2011)
The marriage of Ed and Edith Roediger is still strong after 74 years

E.J. And Erma Johnston (August 2011)
Long marriages: E.J. and Erma Johnston have a loving partnership made to last

Britton (July 2011)
Long marriages: After seven decades of marriage, bliss and banter still are keys for the Brittons

Ballard (June 2011)
Long marriages: The Ballards have learned to cherish every minute

Kreitzer (May 2011)
Long marriages: The Kreitzers look back on a friction-free union of 70-plus years

Hoffman (April 2011)
Long marriages: The Hoffmans have been best friends for 72 years — and counting

Thornburg (March 2011)
Marriage secrets: The Thornburgs’ 70-year marriage is built on respect, forgiveness

Kal and Edna Horine (February 2011)
With 74 years of marriage, a Portland couple shares how they’ve made it work