Longtime area residents

by: HOLLY M. GILL - Charles and Aline Roberts, of Culver, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary (Dec. 20) on Dec. 22, at the Culver Christian Church.Charles and Aline Roberts, of Culver, have hit a milestone that very few will ever experience; they have been married for 70 years.

On Dec. 22, surrounded by their five daughters, four of their five sons-in-law, an assortment of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and lots of friends, the two celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary at the Culver Christian Church.

Charles, 93, and Aline, 89, were born halfway across the country from each other — Charles in Granger, Wash., and Aline in Ada, Okla. — but ended up meeting in Central Oregon where both attended school in Redmond and got acquainted through Charles' older sister.

When they met in 1940, they both agreed, it was not love at first sight, but rather a relationship that blossomed over time.

"I thought she was too young," said Charles, recalling his sister's 16-year-old friend.

by: HOLLY M. GILL - Charles and Aline Roberts sit with daughters Becky Soules (front left), of Madras, Marylee Meliza, of Old Town, Idaho, and Charline Maynard (back right), of Milwaukie, on their 70th anniversary Dec. 20, 2013."He told me once the reason he married me was I didn't swear," she said, remembering an interest in her friend's "pleasing" younger brother, who was 19 at the time.

"He's very handsome," she thought, as the two spent more and more time around each other. "It was one of those things that grew."

"I would go over there and there would be all those Roberts chaperoning," said Aline. "We never went out alone until he came back on leave (two years later)."

At 22, Charles was drafted into the U.S. Air Force and left on March 11, 1942, for Colorado Springs, where he served in the military police for three years. During that time, they were married at Shepherd Field, Colorado Springs, on Dec. 20, 1943.

Three years to the day after he entered the USAF, Charles was put into the infantry, and became a squad leader at Camp Howsie, Texas, while Aline went to stay with her parents, who were living in Prineville.

Charles, by then a sergeant, was headed for Europe when the war ended there, and was instead shipped to Hawaii for a few months. He was on a ship to Japan when the war ended on Aug. 14, 1945. "I got there Sept. 5, and was there until January 1946, when I got out," said Charles.

In the meantime, their first child, Charline, was born. "He was on the high seas, headed for Japan when Charline was born," said Aline. "He didn't know for a couple weeks."

After the war ended and Charles came home, his uncle helped him get a job at the Warm Springs mill and he saved money to buy a 160-acre farm at Jericho Lane and Feather Drive in Culver.

"As soon as he got it, he built a big, 18-by-24 house, and we moved into it when only half was closed in," said Aline, who had two daughters at that time.

On the farm, they raised sheep, cows and pigs, grew hay, mint and potatoes, and had three more daughters. "We added and added again to the house," said Aline, noting that the house still stands on Feather Drive.

In 1970, Charles built a two-story home for his family "south of there, up on a rock pile," she said. "He was a jack of all trades."

Aline was the disciplinarian for the family.

"She believed in spanking kids and I didn't," said Charles. "I always tried to protect the kids from spanking."

On one occasion, he recalled, he grabbed one of the girls up under his arm — like he would carry one of his pigs — to keep her from getting swatted, and instead got swatted himself.

Aline doesn't dispute his recollection. "He was the one that was the most even-tempered," she said.

Both Charles and Aline were raised in large families. "There were 13 in my family, but only 10 grew up, and six in his family," she said. "We were both brought up to help."

Mutual respect is another key to a long marriage. "He always treated me with respect, and hopefully, I did, too," said Aline.

The Robertses moved into Culver in 1999, and remain in good health. "We have aches and pains, but we can't complain," she said.

The two share household chores: he cooks breakfast, which might include oatmeal or eggs and bacon, she cooks dinner, he does the dishes and she does the laundry.

Her advice to other couples? "Hang in there and support your mate," she said. "Don't go bad-mouthing them and don't run their family down."

"They're great parents," said Charline Maynard, of Milwaukie, who recalled going home to live with them in 1967, when her husband, Alvin, was drafted. "Whatever we need, they're always here."

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