Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

May 25, 2014

Half a Century and Happy: The Schrocks

The Schrocks have weathered life's trials to enjoy 67 years together

Vernon Schrock and Hilda Miller were hundreds of miles from home when they first met at Hesston Academy and Junior College in Kansas.

Vernon, 17, was 450 miles away from his home in Colorado and had been going to the church-sponsored boarding school for a year and a half before Hilda Miller arrived.

Before the start of a new school year in 1944, he and his friend went to the train station in town to see who was coming in as new students. When he watched a trio of young women step off the train, one of them immediately caught his eye.

It was 17-year-old Hilda Miller. She and her two sisters were 750 miles from their home in southern Miami County. Hilda, the oldest of the sisters, was going into her senior year of high school, and their mom wanted to send her daughters to a good school.

Being new students at Hesston, there was a lot for Hilda and her sisters to get used to and take in. Hilda didn't necessarily notice Vernon at first.

"It was all new to me," she said. "We were adjusting to life on campus and there were a lot of guys there."

Vernon may not have made much of an impression on Hilda in the beginning, but he was definitely noticing her.

"I liked the way she looked and acted," he said. "I was attracted to her. I wanted to know her a little better."

One month later, he made his feelings for her known in a very public way.

"He came running across campus to ask me out and all the guys knew what he was going to do, so they were yelling and causing a ruckus and I was so embarrassed," Hilda laughed.

Vernon asked if she'd play tennis with him, and Hilda agreed. They got along great, and from then on, there were more dates. They'd walk uptown into Hesston to a soda shop or they'd take walks out of town to a park.

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