Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

January 26, 2014

An unconditional love

Walt and Shirley McIndoo have shared 57 years together

When Shirley Genung was 10 years old, she carefully watched married couples to figure out what she wanted in her future husband.

Five years later, she met the man of her dreams, Walter “Walt” McIndoo.

“I had him all picked out before I ever met him,” Shirley said.

She wanted a good man who was religious and hardworking, who was close with his family, and who loved music.

Walt and Shirley attended the same high school in Terre Haute, where Walt was a senior and Shirley a sophomore. Walt had taken notice of Shirley at a distance in the hallways in between classes.

“I looked at her and thought, ‘Hmm, that’s a good-lookin’ gal,’” he said. “Maybe I can get a date with her. That’s as far as it went in my head.”

That all changed when a fellow male admirer of Shirley’s took her to church with him. It was the same church Walt attended.

“That was nice of him to bring her, cause I met her,” Walt laughed.

Walt sat on the right of Shirley and the other guy on her left during church. Walt held Shirley’s hand during the service to try to get her attention. What he didn’t know was that the other guy was holding Shirley’s other hand for the same reason.

“I thought, ‘How am I going to get out of this when I get up?’” Shirley laughed.

Shirley managed to discreetly let go of both hands when they stood up to sing. Only she and Walt have been holding hands ever since.

“I knew I wanted to marry Walt from day one,” she said. “I knew he was it.”

Walt felt the same way. They both had the same goals and ideals.

“She had her head on her shoulders,” he said. “She knew what she was doing. She was looking beyond the dating years and at what she wanted to be.”

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