Home & Leisure

After 71 years, their marriage — and that wedding gift of a toaster — endure

By Nicole Brodeur, The Seattle Times on

Published in Parenting News

SEATTLE - It was after 3 p.m. and the breakfast dishes had long been put away, but Gloria Witt was happy to make toast. She almost had to.

She and her husband, Frank, had spent the last hour talking about their toaster, a 1949 Sunbeam T-20 model; a two-slicer so shiny you can see yourself in it.

That's all it was, really - a reliable appliance - until their daughter, Margaret, took a photo of the couple on their 71st wedding anniversary last month, and had them hold the toaster between them. It had been a wedding gift.

But unlike so many that had been spent, lost or broken, this one had been with them every day of their marriage. Through three kids, their careers as schoolteachers, the lazy summers that followed and decades of retirement.

The Witts - Frank is 92, Gloria is 93 - still use the toaster. Every day. It's part of their morning ritual, even when they don't have to be anywhere but together.

And that's always worked for them, too.


They met when Frank - who moved to Tacoma after the war to attend Pacific Lutheran College (now University) - went to the dentist. There was Gloria, the dentist's niece, working behind the desk.

"I walked into the dental office and doggone, I made more appointments just to find out who she was," Frank said. "She was a farmer's daughter. And I just love her. I love her."

"Same goes for me, too," said Gloria, who turned her head and took him in.

And that was that.


swipe to next page
(c)2020 The Seattle Times, Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.