Still the One
There was immediate warmth in the air. It's as the song says, "There was love all around," and it was easily visible between Bill and Sue Hurd, a couple who have reached, with the blessing of good health and a strong commitment to each other, more than a milestone in their lives. On March 20th, they will celebrate 60 years of marriage. They are an inspiration to young couples today, having exhibited the ultimate meaning of a word we all know defined as: to pledge, to bind. In today's world, "commitment" in all areas often fails the test of time. Its true meaning signifies entrusting one another. In partnership with love, it has been considered the top priority for a successful marriage. The Hurds understand the true definition. "It's not work," Bill said, smiling at Sue. "It's grit and guts!"
Bill and Sue met in a Dayton high school their junior year after Bill's family moved to Ohio from Pennsylvania. "I was a cheerleader, and Bill played on the tennis team, which we never cheered for; but he was a lifeguard at our pool, so we noticed each other," said Sue. After they graduated, Sue began her studies in retail merchandising at Ohio State, while World War II beckoned Bill. He enlisted in the Navy, serving as an air crewman in the Naval Air Corp from 1943-46. By the time he completed flight training, the war was over. He headed home to Ohio State to finish his education in business administration which he started in the service. He graduated in 1948, but not before he married the girl of his dreams in March of that year.
Soon their family was blessed with a beautiful little girl and a handsome boy. "We struggled as everyone did, Bill recalled, and earned everything we have." We shared a great deal in common, and our families were very compatible. The Life Insurance business was good to me, and our lives have been filled with great family, travel and wonderful together times."
Through Bill's sister, Marilyn, married to local allergist, Jerry Vanderpool, the couple discovered Hilton Head Island in 1975. "We immediately fell in love with it, buying a house, then condo, and a lot in 1982, where we built our present home," said Sue. When Bill retired in 1989, the Hurds moved permanently to the island, where golf became one of their passions, as well as walking the sound hand-in-hand, reading and biking together. Sue volunteered with Meals on Wheels for ten years, but now their beautiful pool claims a great deal of the couple's time. "A pool was not in the plans," Bill laughed. "But Sue always wanted one and besides keeping us healthy, we've enjoyed it immensely.
Swaying softly beside the lovely enclosed pool are two basket swings where the two spend a great deal of time when not swimming. "I sit out here in the mornings and contemplate our day and think of Cindy," Bill reflected.
Life was good until tragedy struck. Their shared love and faith steadied them through the untimely loss of their daughter to cancer in her fifties. "We sit and talk about her and cry," said Sue, "but it's part of the healing. We have two wonderful grandchildren and our son, Joe, to share our memories with, and we think of her every day. Cindy's favorite spot was Dolphin Head Point, so we put a picnic table there in memory of her and visit frequently."
In spite of losing their daughter, the Hurd's strong faith remains intact and their love for each other has never wavered. "Now we plan to stay healthy and travel as much as we can," they agreed.
John Denver wrote a beautiful song, "Perhaps love is like a resting place, a shelter from the storm. It exists to give you comfort. It is there to keep you warm." There is no question about the warmth surrounding Bill and Sue Hurd, nor the love so strongly shared for 60 years.