It’s all part of their plan
Some believe in fate, some believe in luck and some believe in something more.
As for George and Naomi Paul, they believe in something else.
“He already knew what was going to happen before we were even born,”?George says.
Because no one other than God could have predicted the beautiful life they would have and the paths they followed along the way.
It was around 1940
and the two were just a little more than 18 years old when they met at a Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) party.
“We danced together a couple times and I asked her on a date,”?George says.
Sure enough, Naomi and her friend Irene went along with George and his brother to a show at the Avalon Theater in Blue Earth.
The date went well and the two seemed to have a connection, but George admits he had just one thing on his mind at the time going into the
It wasn’t long before the two split ways and made two very different commitments.
As George had said, he was determined to join the service. He joined the United States Army in 1944.
“I completed my basic training and then served in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army,”?George recalls.
He made a total of 13 jumps during his time in the service, spending 20 months with the Army.
During that time, Naomi and George had not been in contact and Naomi entered her first marriage.
“We weren’t real serious before I went into the service and so she had gotten married after I?joined the Army,” George says.
Naomi says she and her first husband were married, had one daughter and had another child on the way.
But one unexpected event changed Naomi’s path completely. Her husband was involved in a very serious car accident.
“It was 1947 when my husband was killed by a driver who hadn’t even had a driver’s license,” Naomi says.
She was a young mother with two young children and had moved back to the area. Eventually she had purchased a small house in town.
Little did either one know, this is when Naomi’s and George’s paths would cross again.
George had returned home from the service and had decided to go to a dance at Bass Lake.
Naomi had decided to do the same.
“That is where I?met her again,” George says.
He remembers asking Naomi for another date.
“She said no,”?George adds.
But he persisted on taking her out. And, there seems to be two sides to the story as to how it unfolded after that.
“I?finally gave into him,” Naomi says with a smile.
And George remembers it this way, joking, “she finally caught me.” And sure enough, the two got together and were married on March 1, 1949.
They held the ceremony at the Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Blue Earth and had the reception afterward at the Wellington Hotel (which was once located on the northwest corner of Sixth and Moore streets).
“My mother was very conservative and didn’t believe it was right for me to wear a white dress after I?had been married once before,”?Naomi says.
So, in place of a traditional white gown, she wore a very practical skirt suit.
After the ceremony and reception, the couple celebrated by taking a honeymoon in Texas.
When the newlyweds returned home, Naomi learned her father had sold her house.
“All my things were packed up for me when I got back,”?she adds.
But, it was a good thing the small house was sold because George really wanted to farm.
So they moved onto some farmland just outside of the town of Easton.
“We had chickens, cows, gardens and apples,”?Naomi says.
They also had nine children together, for a total of 11; Joyce, Keith, Pat, Bill, Greg, Larry, Karen, Beth, Chuck, Nancy and Dan.
“There were always enough for their own ball team,” George says.
And it was true. But it wasn’t all fun and games with 11 kids running around. They were expected to help out on the farm, as well.
“They all learned the value of hard work and now they all have good jobs and their own homes because of it,”?Naomi says.
George adds after high school, they all had to hold jobs to get themselves through college.
“The kids always kept us busy,”?Naomi says. “But now, it’s the kids that keep us young.”
Because on March 1 of this year, George and Naomi celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary.
To help them celebrate are 11 children, 20 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
And Naomi doesn’t forget a single birthday or anniversary, but she has a little secret.
“I have a list right by the phone of all the important dates,”?she shares.
Their children aren’t the only thing keeping the two 91-year-olds young. They both stay pretty involved in their hobbies.
For example, George enjoys woodworking, puzzles and reading.
Naomi loves to bake, do puzzles and had once made many quilts.
“I have glaucoma so I?really can’t do that anymore,”?she adds.
But most importantly, their journey through life together has kept them young at heart.
And George has some advice for staying happily married for 65 years.
“Always treat your partner as number one,” he says.
Naomi simply smiled and replied to her husband with a heartfelt, “thanks.”