Couple married 66 years met at Michigan Avenue Bridge

February 14, 2013 5:50:20 PM PST
A Chicago love story that has lasted nearly 67 years started at the Michigan Avenue Bridge.

The love story starts along the Chicago River in 1943. Ray Olley, a Navy sailor in town, met a young lady named Jane near the Michigan Avenue Bridge. They talked 20 minutes and held hands.

Jane was with her sister.

"Her sister said they had to go," said Olley, a World War II veteran. "So I wrote a scrap of paper with the ship's address and handed it to her -- and we left."

He left to fight WWII in the Pacific, where Olley saw combat in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

Through it all, the two exchanged letters and pictures.

"Every time I opened that locker, that picture was there," said Olley.

When Olley returned home from the war two years later, he hopped on a train to find Jane. He arrived at Chicago's Union Station and called her.

"When the call came, I just couldn't believe it," said Jane Olley. "And I said to him, 'I'll meet you there,' but I said, 'Don't move.' And I thought on the train, How will I recognize him?"

"How are we going to recognize each other with all the crowd of people? But it was just like two magnets," said Ray Olley.

Three months later, they got married in Blue Island.

"It was a wonderful day," said Ray Olley. "The wedding was a wonderful day."

It's been 66 years since that wedding day. The Olleys live in Manteno now.

On this Valentine's Day, they have a lot to share about love.

"His love and compassion and a good father of the children -- just lots of memories," said Jane Olley.

"It can be done," said Ray Olley. "It is being done by many good people like us. It is possible with God's love, sharing it, and loving each other all these years."

Sixty-six years and counting.


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