When Jack was discharged in 1953, he came back to work at Stellite and he worked afternoons, while Mary worked days. He still had a crush on Mary and was working up the courage to ask her out, but she beat him to it.
“I had always kinda liked her, but I just never got around to doing what I should’ve done,” Jack said.
Mary took the initiative and asked Jack on a date first. She called him at work and asked if she could pick him up when his shift was over. He said yes.
“I figured that would be the only way I could get a date,” Mary laughed. “Sometimes, women have to take over.”
“She’s been taking over for 60 years,” Jack laughed.
Once Mary picked him up after work, it was like Jack’s shyness never existed. He was very talkative on their first date, which was to a high school all-star basketball game at Butler. He was even more impressed with Mary the more he got to know her.
“She was just a good-looking lady to me,” he said of Mary. “She even had a new car to drive.”
From then on, they kept going together. They’d play cards with friends, go to movies and attend ball games together.
Jack was unlike any other guy Mary had dated. She had been engaged twice before but broke it off because she didn’t want to be with them.
“I went out with so many and most of them were horse’s butts,” Mary said. “But Jack wasn’t that way. He treated me like I really wanted to be treated.”
“She probably thought I was her last chance,” Jack joked.
The two dated for about a year, and they both knew they wanted to get married. The two were wed at Reverend Newsome’s home, who was the minister of First Baptist in Kokomo at the time, on April 30, 1954, when Jack was 24 and Mary was 25. They went to Florida for their honeymoon.