In May 1941, Charles Jones was a member of the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at Arsenal Technical High School when he was called to duty with the Navy for World War II.
Betty broke her perfect attendance at the school in order to say goodbye to Charles at the train station. They managed to sneak a kiss behind a pole before he had to leave for duty.
After graduating, Betty joined the Marines. The two exchanged letters during the war. Charles sent his mainly from a ship in the Pacific, and Betty sent hers from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Charles met someone in Seattle and almost married her, but he was called back to duty before anything could happen.
After the war, he moved to LA and Betty enrolled at the Ohio State University to study journalism.
The two thought that the other person had moved on, but Betty confessed her feelings for Charles to a friend and the news traveled west.
Charles drove to Ohio, only to be involved in an accident in Flagstaff, AZ. He hitchhiked the rest of the way and proposed to Betty.
“I said, ‘I don’t know where we’ll live or what we’ll do, and will you marry me?’ ” Charles, 93, remembered on their 70th wedding anniversary.
“He asked me on a Wednesday, we had a formal wedding on Monday and left for California on Tuesday morning,” said Betty, 92.
The couple kept the anniversary celebration low-key, just enjoying the day with their caregiver, their daughter, Peggy Larson, and their son-in-law, Mark.
Peggy is their oldest daughter. They have another, Wendy, and a son, Kenneth. They moved from LA to Gardena in the mid-50’s and to Torrance in 1969.
For 17 years, Betty edited the Southwood Homeowners Association newsletter. She did everything including writing articles, selling ads, and cutting and pasting the whole 16- to 18- page issue together. She started a newsletter when they lived in Gardena, as well.
She earned recognition from the Torrance City Council for her work on the newsletter.
Charles owned a refrigerator repair company for over 50 years, serving businesses around LA, including Perino’s Restaurant.
He rented a duplex in downtown LA and then found out that one of his favorite actresses, Susan Hayward, filmed scenes for “Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole.”
After retiring from his company, Charles became head of refrigerator maintenance for the Los Angeles Unified School District for 15 years.
The family enjoyed fishing trips, rode the Red Car on the last day it operated, and saw the Beatles when they performed at Dodger Stadium in 1966.
The Joneses have traveled to England, France, and Italy with friends. The family took a cruise together in Mexico to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
The two have managed to laugh through the years. Peggy said their good sense of humor helped them quite a bit, Daily Breeze reported.
They have one grandson and two great-granddaughters.
Peggy said her parents always did the right thing, even when it wasn’t popular. That’s something they passed along to their children.