Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

July 7, 2013

A love that outlived a war

The 70-year love affair of Hugh and Dolly

(Continued)

“It’s always been a lucky number for us,” Dolly said.

Their families weren’t surprised they got married, and were supportive of the couple’s decision.

Almost immediately after they were married, Hugh left for boot camp after he joined the Navy.

The longest the Smiths went without seeing each other was 13 months.

Dolly lived with Hugh’s parents while he was gone. They wrote to each other every day.

Letters Hugh wrote home were censored by the military before they were sent. If he spoke of locations or dates, it would be blacked out by the time they reached Dolly.

“That’s about all you can do really is worry about where he was,” Dolly said.

In the meantime, Dolly got a job working at Delco as an inspector for bomber radios.

While she was there, she was shocked by a defective switch, which knocked her out. She quit for a few months before coming back in 1947.

“She wanted to work for a few little things we needed,” Hugh said. “Like a Cadillac,” he joked.

Dolly worked at Delco for 30 more years, and eventually the Smith’s got their Cadillac, but not before Hugh came back home.

He was excited to go home and wanted to get out of the military.

After a total 30 months of Hugh being the Navy, they were finally together again.

“It was a nice reunion,” Dolly said.

Hugh got a job at Continental Steel and the couple bought their first house for $5,000. They paid $10 each month to pay it off.

“If there were any decisions on buying something, we’d make it together,” Hugh said.

“If we didn’t have the money to buy something, we didn’t buy it,” Dolly said.

These days, the Smiths are enjoying being married for 70 years and looking out for each other along the way.

“It’s better now than when we got married,” Dolly said. “We’re settled. We have our kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.”

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