Life Changes: Couple marries 69 years after first encounter

Tuesday, December 30, 2008 | 4:20 p.m. CST; updated 10:33 a.m. CST, Thursday, January 1, 2009

Earl and Marian Lubensky were married on Aug. 19 in Columbia, 69 years after they first met in Arrow Rock.

“All of those years I never forgot her and obviously she never forgot me,”  said Earl Lubensky, 87 about his wife, now 86. Between them, they have seven sons, 15 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

The romance began in the spring and summer of 1939.  He grew up in Marshall and she was raised in Arrow Rock.  He was 18 and she was 17.

“I courted her that summer," he said. "We don’t know how come it didn’t materialize into marriage at the time."

“He told me we would be married when he was 21, but that didn’t happen until this year,” she said.

After the summer of 1939, they went their separate ways.  Earl was married in 1942 to Anita Price, who died July 28, 1992. 

Marian married in 1943 to Artie Reed, who died Jan. 5, 1995. 

He was married a second time in 1994 to Margot Truman Patterson, who died  on March 28.

In 1981, Marian attended a Marshall High School reunion where Earl’s brother, Lloyd, mentioned that Earl had settled in Columbia. 

“We lived about five blocks apart for many years, but didn’t do anything about it," Earl said.

They had met only briefly between 1939 and 2008 — including a moment in Arrow Rock when he gave a talk about the first school in town. 

“I didn’t immediately know who she was,” Earl said.

“He took my one hand in both of his and said, ‘Oh, my old girlfriend’ and asked if I would sing him 'Melancholy Baby,' a song I sang in the summer of 1939," Marian said.

After Earl's second wife passed away in March, Marian decided to contact him.  “I saw him frequently drive by my house.  I decided to call one day because I enjoyed that summer of 1939 so much.”  

In July, Earl asked Marian to marry him. 

“I gave her my mother’s engagement ring.  I had it tucked away in my childhood trunk with other things I had forgotten.”   

As with most newlyweds, “there are adjustments," Marian said. 

“The most difficult thing is I have a king-size bed," Earl said. "We have to find each other every night."

“What is really amazing is how much he has changed," Marian said. "He wants to please me all the time. He’s very thoughtful and considerate." 

Earl stepped in: “We did not want to be alone and lonely.  And this solves that problem.” 


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