Whatever the secret is, perhaps Lois and John Carmesin will share it with us.
They’ve been married for 70 years, and both are Second World War veterans, both served in the U.S. Army in the Philippines, and both are 97.
“My father was a paratrooper who fought in the war and my mother, trained in communications, was in the Women’s Army Corps,” said daughter Rita McAtee of McKinleyville, CA.
Meeting was only a matter of time since her work in the communication center wasn’t that far from the rest and recuperation camp that John visited. They met eventually, added McAtee.
Lois hailed from Los Angeles, John’s home roots was New Jersey. She served two years until the war’s end and John three years. They fell in love, but John refused to marry until the war was over, lest something should happen to him.
On June 22, 1946, they tied the knot.
“They married in New Jersey, then Mom drove him back to California,” McAtee said, “my father didn’t know how to drive.”
Eventually, the couple moved to Northern California from Los Angeles where John tried his hand at chicken farming.
“Dad didn’t know a thing about chickens,” said McAtee, “being a city boy, he didn’t know which end of the chicken the egg came out of”
They made a go of it anyway. He became head of maintenance at McKinleyville grade school and a school bus driver. Lois was working at McKinleyville High School as an attendance clerk, Times-Standard reported.
Their three children live in McKinleyville, and the couple has one great-great-grandchild, 13 great-grandchildren, and six grandchildren.