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Celebrating 71 years of marriage at Valley View Rehab & Nursing Center

PHOTO SUBMITTED Jackie, left, and husband Louis Poplaski, right, share a kiss at an outdoor celebration in honor of their 71 years of marriage at Valley View Rehab & Nursing Center in Montoursville.

“I still love him,” says Jackie Poplaski of her husband, Louis, of 71 years with a smile. The pair reside at Valley View Rehab & Nursing Center in Montoursville and recently reflected on their years together. Louis was fresh out of the Army, after serving during World War II, when he met his future bride, Jackie, at an American Legion dance in Shamokin in the 1940s. “He walked me home that night, kissed me, and asked me for a first date,” Jackie said with a laugh.

The pair were married in a church rectory on Sept. 24, 1949. Jackie was 21 years old and Louis was 26.

The couple lived in Shamokin for a few years before moving to Williamsport. Finally, they went to Valley View Rehab & Nursing Center, where they have resided for the last three years. Louis was a certified public accountant and Jackie, a seamstress, through- out their marriage.

The duo were always a good team, as parents and spouses. Jackie fondly remembers them saving pennies in a glass jar. “We would save enough for a quart of beer,” that they would divide between the two of them. “That was happiness,” she laughed.

They went on to have three daughters. “They are the most wonderful gift we have been given,” said Jackie. Lou was the soft one and Jackie was the disciplinarian, as she remembered.

Jackie enjoyed cooking and recalled the holiday celebrations they would have together.

The couple were recently treated to a surprise 71st anniversary celebration by the Valley View staff. “It was wonderful,” said Jackie. “Everybody in Valley View came.” The couple’s three daughters, Dottie Frank, Mary Griggs and Debra Goulart, were included by teleconference for the celebration. The pair is very close with their daughters, with Jackie speaking to them everyday on the phone. They are grandparents to five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, with one on the way.

Today, the pair fill their days together with Jackie crocheting and knitting, and the two reading together. “Time goes very quickly,” said Jackie. “We are very content and happy here, it’s been a wonderful experience,” she said of their time at Valley View.

The couple still ends every day the same way they have since 1949, with a goodnight kiss and an ‘I love you,’ said in Polish, a nod to Louis’s heritage. Looking back at their long and happy marriage Jackie said she would share this with young couples today: “When the going gets tough, be sure to love each other, that’s the most important.”

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