At a hospital in Chicago, during the middle of World War II, Rocky and Lois Wood saw each other for the first time.
He was a 19-year-old serving in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1943, and Lois was a 21-year-old U.S. Public Health Service nurse.
Rocky, a Chicago native, had injured his arm while home on leave and was at a Marine hospital recuperating.
He and Lois, who grew up in Nebraska, chatted a few times. He thought she was beautiful and loved her smile, but didn’t ask her out.
Rocky didn’t know it, but he’d get a second chance.
After he was released from the hospital, he returned to duty in the South Pacific.
In 1945, while on leave, he visited a friend who was a patient at the same Chicago hospital where Lois worked.
Rocky stepped of an elevator and Lois was right there, flashing that smile.
This time, Rocky didn’t pass up the opportunity.
They went out every night during his two-week leave, dancing at a ballroom downtown and on a boardwalk along Lake Michigan.
Just as Rocky’s leave was wrapping up, World War II ended, so he was sent to San Francisco to serve as a military policeman.
Lois was transferred to a hospital in New York, and she and Rocky stayed in touch through letters.
They finally got to see each other in spring 1946 in Chicago, and Rocky told Lois he loved her.
The couple married July 1, 1946, in Chicago. They lived there for about a decade, then moved to West Point, Neb., to take over Lois’ family farm, and then moved to the Omaha area in the late 1960s.
They had three children, and now have seven grandchildren and five great-grandkids.
He is 90, and Lois is 92. They still live on their own, and have been married for more than six decades.
Rocky says the reason for their long marriage is pretty simple.
“I loved her and she loved me,’’ he says. “It’s been going for 67 years now. I think it may last.”