Langley residents celebrate 70 years | ANNIVERSARY

Martha and Bill Martin of Langley celebrate 70 years of marriage this Valentine’s Day.  - Contributed photo
Martha and Bill Martin of Langley celebrate 70 years of marriage this Valentine’s Day.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Bill and Martha Martin of Langley are celebrating 70 years together this Valentine’s Day.

The couple met at a dance on Thanksgiving evening in 1939 at the Wagon Wheel Dance Hall, in Santee, Calif., a suburb of San Diego. During intermission he bought her a piece of homemade apple pie a la mode and a cup of coffee. He spent fifteen cents for the treat.

Bill was a hospital corpsman stationed at the San Diego Naval Hospital, with a salary of $21 a month. Four months after their first dance they were performing around San Diego at fraternal clubs, dancing professionally.

Bill was transferred to the USS Tennessee, and is a Pearl Harbor survivor. He also served with the Second Marines in the South Pacific. Martha spent the war years dancing with various USO — United Service Organizations — groups, up and down the California coast.

After a year and a half apart, Bill called Martha one day saying he was in San Francisco. He said they would have ten days to get married and check into Navy headquarters in New York.

The Martins have been Langley residents since 1976. Bill celebrated his 95th birthday on Dec. 9. They have a daughter, Gennie, and a son, Terry, both Langley residents; and seven grandsons who are scattered between Puget Sound, San Diego and Japan.

Making an appearance a month early, Feb. 2, was their first great-grandson, Sesson Richard Martin, just in time to become a 12th Man, Seahawks fan. He is the fifth generation oldest Martin son to bear the middle name, Richard.


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