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By Sherri Coner
For all of their 75 years of bliss, Ronald Fowler has been the quiet jokester while Fern Fowler has been the designated talker.
As she shares several stacks of photo albums, he nods and smiles, first at his wife and then at the cherished reminders of their beautiful, long stroll through life.
Countless years ago, Fern’s hair turned silvery white.
But Ronald, 95, still recalls the petite young woman with the long auburn hair.
And oh, he always loved her hair as much as he has always loved her.
Their story began in high school, sitting together on Fern’s family porch and enjoying long Sunday drives after church. Brown County was one of the couple’s favorite places to drive ... along the curvy roads, talking and laughing, enjoying the landscape.
It was on one of those drive that Ronald popped the question.
On a cold day in late January 1942, when the groom was 20 and his bride was 18, they exchanged vows at Southport Methodist Church.
“My dad married us in the church parsonage,” Fern says with a grin. “The war was on and there was a shortage on sugar. So we only had a little tiny cake for 25 guests.”
Their lives have been woven safely around each other by routine.
Ronald was a great provider for his family, working 39 years at Eli Lily and Co.. Fern worked as a comptometer for several department stores in Downtown Indianapolis.
Every morning Fern cooked the same breakfast for Ron, a couple of eggs, sausage and oatmeal.
Few cross words were ever spoken, but when they were, Ron simply left the house for a while.
“When he came back home everything was all right again,” Fern said.
Proudly, they welcomed two daughters, Ann Kraft and Rita Towe, and raised their family in church.
As more of life unfolded, their girls were married. The grandchildren came. And happily, they made space in the family pictures for great-grandkids too.
Ron and Fern have lived all of their lives on the Southside.
“And we’ve lived in the same house for 50 years,” Fern said.
Each year they also took a vacation.
“But we don’t fly,” Fern said as he smiled over at Ron. “Daddy never liked to fly. When we both retired in 1986 we went to California on a train.”
Ron cut the grass until he was 90.
On snowy days he drove Fern to the beauty shop.
But nearly a year ago he fell in the kitchen and broke his hip. Since then Ron has been wheelchair bound in a Southside rehabilitation center.
Hoping to get Ron home soon, Fern admits that she is lost at home without him.
“We grew up together,” she says. “Ron is such a kind man. The Lord has been really, really good to us.”
When asked what he likes most about his longtime bride, Ron’s face breaks into a bright grin.
“There’s so many things I like about her that I can’t single one out,” he said. “And you know, I always loved her red hair.”
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