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A Post-WWII Story of Love and Marriage — Rosie’s Daughters

A Post-WWII Story of Love and Marriage

by Matilda Butler on September 26, 2014

Post #63 - Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story by Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett

Today, we celebrate a story from Bill Thomas, one of our Rosie fans. He’s previously shared information about training Rosie the Riveters and then a little about his military service during World War II. Recently, Bill sent me another story, told in third person, that brings us to the post-war years.


In 1948, Bill and his pal, Perry, drove to New York to see the wondrous sights. Prior to leaving, Bill’s mother had given him the information about her aunt in New York.

At first, Bill was reluctant to call the aunt but he did; and she invited him to come to her home. There, also visiting from Durham, North Carolina, was Soula, a petite, beautiful brunette. The couple had three dates. Then each left to go homeward.

Bill and Perry drove casually across America taking in the sights enroute to California. They had a wonderful, but expensive nightclubbing time in Hollywood. They eventually went broke and had to stay in Los Angeles; so they sought and found suitable employment.

As the next three years passed, Bill, in Long Beach, California, and Soula in Durham, North Carolina, corresponded occasionally.

Just before Christmas in 1950, Bill phoned Soula and asked, “Hi, would you like some company for Christmas?”

Soula said, “Yes.” But she doubted if Bill would make the flight to Durham.

But make it he did. On Christmas Eve Bill proposed, “Let’s get married or something.”

Soula responded, “We’ll get married, or nothing.”

Bill flew back to California, contacted a manufacturing jeweler and ordered an engagement ring.
He mailed it to Soula.

Meanwhile Bill bought an unbuilt, three-bedroom house in Lakewood on the G.I. Bill.

In early May, the newly-married couple drove northward from Durham seeing famous sights along the east coast up to Niagara Falls and westward to his home-town of Detroit. After a short visit with Bill’s family and relatives, they drove to California in a new Cadillac.

They moved into their newly-built house.

After growing three children in Lakewood for ten years, the family moved to Rossmoor.

Now the kids have all grown up and become parents and homeowners themselves.

And our hero and heroine? Bill and Soula, both in their 90’s, have lived in their Rossmoor home for 53 years, and are now into their 63rd year of a happy marriage.

All this, after three dates. Who needs long engagements?


Thanks Bill for such a touching love story. Congratulations on 63 years of marriage.

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