Close up on arrangements on a guest table during resident wedding renewals

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Lakewood and Lakewood at Home Couples Renew Wedding Vows


Close up on arrangements on a guest table during resident wedding renewals Close up on a tabletop floral arrangement and bowl of mints.

Love was in the air for five couples of Lakewood at Home and the Lakewood Community as they renewed their vows in front of friends, family and team members.

Their stories of love, respect and commitment span a combined total of 241 years of marriage.

Dick and Carol Dunsing

Residents Dick and Carol Dunsings renewing their wedding vowels A senior couple smile for a picture after their vow renewal. A senior man stands up with assistance.

The Dunsings, both in their 90s, have been married for 72 years and have known each other for 77 years. When asked what the secret to their long marriage was, the Dunsings said it has been all about mutual support no matter what comes their way. Dick and Carol met at Knox College and right away, Dick knew it was love at first sight. He served two years in Germany during his time with the Army and one of the most significant moments he remembers was when he returned from his tour overseas. “She was there waiting for me,” said Dick Dunsing. It was a sweet reunion for them both after such a long time apart.  Together they have four children, five grandchildren, and great grandchildren on the way.

Carol and Bill Hoffler

A senior couple dance together after their vow renewal. A senior man smiles at his wife during their vow renewal. Close up on arrangements on a guest table during resident wedding renewals

The Hofflers have known each other for 20 years and married for 12. They met at the Swinging on the Tracks mixer at the Science Museum of Virginia. “When we met, I knew he was the one,” said Carol. During their courtship, they were having lunch together and it was raining outside, so Bill pulled up the umbrella and Carol locked arms with him so she could stay dry, a sweet moment the couple will not forget.

David and Nancy Owens

Residents David and Nancy Owens dance after renewing their wedding vows. A senior couple dance after their vow renewal.

The Owens, both 80 years young have known each other since the 7th grade. Nancy said the secret to a long marriage is humor. “Yeah, she’s always laughing at me!” David chuckled. The happy couple advised that respect and commitment are keys to a happy marriage. Every day they wrote letters to each other when David was stationed on the west coast for the navy. They share the same wedding date with David’s brother, who in turn married Nancy’s sister at their double wedding.

Elaine and Jim Ratliff

A resident couple smile while renewing their vows. A resident couple smile while renewing their vows.

The Ratliffs met at a fraternity party at Georgia Tech University while Jim was finishing his master’s degree in chemical engineering. When the two started dating, Jim knew he wanted to marry Elaine, but she wasn’t quite ready. In turn, he decided to stay in the area and not leave until she said yes. He went on to finish his PhD and during that time Elaine finally said yes. The year Jim attended his graduation ceremony for his doctoral degree, his wife and two children were there to watch and support his achievement. Today, the blissful couple has been married for nearly 59 years.

Marianne and John Harris
The Harris’s were all smiles when they renewed their vows.  The two have been married for a total of 40 years.

Residents Marianne and John Harris hold hands while renewing their vows. Close up on a married resident couple holding hands