"Mom had mentioned, 'We got married on a two-day notice while Dad was just on a short leave... before he went overseas in World War II. We didn't have time to plan a big wedding and we didn't have a photographer.”
The Kings currently receive care from St. Croix Hospice at their home in Oelwein, Iowa. Less than a month ago, the St. Croix staff turned their backyard into a site perfect for having a 1940s-style celebration, yet this time they made sure to invite a photographer to properly document the special day.
Sue helped Frankie, who is 97 years old now, put on a vintage wedding dress that was purchased by St. Croix staff, while a health aide was assisting a 98-year-old Royce with his Air Force uniform. According to Sue:
"They escorted my dad outside, sat him down and we put a little handkerchief around his eyes. We walked Mom down the back steps and across the yard, and then she stood in front of Dad, and I was able to take off his handkerchief. I said, 'Are you ready to see your bride?”
When Royce saw Frankie, he had ‘the biggest smile in the world.’ Sue said: "And he didn't stop smiling."
why would he? The couple's music therapist played some popular songs from the 1940s-era on his saxophone and guitar throughout the celebration, while Frankie and Royce took photos embracing and kissing in front of an archway that was as well smartly decorated by St. Croix staff.
In accordance with the data from the Oelwein Daily Register, Royce retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel in 1972, then co-owned the Oelwein Implement Company until 1980 and later worked for the city's schools. Frankie was a homemaker and a dental assistant, as well as a florist.
The Kings have two children, four grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
Sue Bilodeau said that a local reporter, who was present at the celebration, asked the couple what the best thing was about being married for 77 years was. Sue the story continued with laughter, reciting her parents’ answers: "Dad said, 'Having Frankie by my side' ... And mom said, 'As my dad used to say, I always think about this little saying, 'Lord, give me patience and give it to me now.''
For now, many thousands of people have shared St. Croix's Facebook post about the Kings wedding ceremony.
Sue noted that Frankie and Royce have always been, indeed, ‘wonderful