WILMINGTON - Dana and Jane Peck recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. They were married in Jane's parents' home in Wilmington on June 3, 1944, three days before D Day in World War II. Jane was 18 years old, and Dana was 22.
After the wedding, the couple honeymooned at Alexandria Bay in the Thousand Islands.
"The war was on, and gas was being rationed," Jane said. "We had to save gas coupons so we could go on our honeymoon."
Dana Peck, 92, and Jane Peck, 88, at their home in Wilmington (Photo — Charles Potthast Jr.)
In Alexandra Bay, while listening to a radio broadcast, they learned of the allied invasion of France.
Dana joined the U.S. Army in 1945 and was stationed in Florida, where the coupled lived until he was discharged in 1946. They eventually returned to Wilmington and lived on property which became the Pale Face Ski Resort, after they sold it in 1962. Dana stayed on to manage the ski operations until 1979, when he took employment at the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center. Dana found the 1980 Winter Olympics to be an exciting time at Whiteface. He is currently serving in his 42nd year as an assessor for the town of Wilmington. During the summer, he raises a huge garden, and all of the excess vegetables are put on a "free" table beside the road.
Jane retired after 30 years of service from the U.S. Postal Service, where she last served as a clerk in the Wilmington branch. She currently volunteers at the Wilmington library, knits for charity and is active in her church.
Both Dana and Jane credit their faith as being an integral part of keeping their relationship strong.
Asked what advice they could give to young couples, Dana said, "Learn to give and take. It is a process with the Lord's help."
Jane quoted Barbara Bush, stating, "In the end faith, family and friends are what life is made of."
The Pecks have three sons, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, with another one on the way. They are proud of, and love their family very much. They reiterated several times that they've been blessed during their lifetime together. After 70 years of marriage, Jane summed it up:
"I fell in love with him when I was 12 years old and never fell out."