Dolores and Frank Domijancic worked at the same South Side Chicago business in the 1940s before Frank decided one day to ask Dolores out on a date.
They never saw much of each other at work, as Dolores was involved with secretarial responsibilities in the back of the plant, and Frank was a production manager. They had some mutual friends, who were co-workers.
“I asked her to the movies one day,” Frank, 95, recalled more than 70 years later. “I just thought it would be a good thing to do.”
Dolores, 90, accepted and remembers taking a taxi with him to a theater at 79th Street and Ashland Avenue in Chicago.
The couple continued dating, and then one day Frank popped the question.
“We were walking, and he said, ‘I think we should get married,’” Dolores said. “I said OK. He was always smiling and talking to people.”
Dolores said Frank also was happy most of the time, which she liked.
“He was very dependable, too,” she said.
Just as instinct told him to ask Dolores out for a first date, it was much pretty much the same for Frank when he decided to propose.
“I just assumed it was the right choice,” he said.
On May 28, 1949, they both said, “I do.” And they will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary May 28 at their current residence, The Birches Assisted Living in Clarendon Hills, where they have lived since February.
“We had a great 50th anniversary, with a big deal, but the milestones for us were when our children were born,” Dolores said of the four they raised together. “I guess 70 years is a long time to be married, but we don’t really think about it.”
It appears g key to making their marriage work for so long has been a mix of doing many things together, while still giving each other some space.
“And sometimes, you have to look the other way,” Dolores said. “And you try to agree more than you disagree.”
She said they had a big house in Oak Lawn for many years, where she worked a lot in the garden.
“When he retired, he took over the garden, which I wasn’t too happy about, but he worked in the garden and tinkered in the garage, and I worked on things inside the house,” she said.
Their son-in-law, Craig Howard, who has known them for about 25 years, said the couple has found the perfect recipe.
“They do give each other their space, but they also have a closeness where they need each other,” Howard said. “And they usually seem to just know when they need each other, without anyone having to say anything.”
Frank said as much as he and Dolores always have done many things together, including raising four children, traveling and even taking square dancing lessons, they each have had some of their own interests.
“Our hobbies kept us apart,” he said. “We traveled quite a bit, though, and went on several cruises.”
Frank had a few retirements over the years, as different jobs ended for him. His last retirement was from a hardware store he worked at for 10 years.
“They were looking for a carpenter to work at the store,” Frank said. “I wasn’t really a carpenter, but I got the job and stuck around for a while.”
Now, Dolores and Frank said they are very happy in their new home at The Birches.
“Everyone here is very nice, and the staff takes very good care of you,” Dolores said.