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A Broken Date, An Enduring Bond

Jacaranda Trace's Charlie and Lynne Helvie Celebrate Six Decades Together

Married 60 years this past November 5th, Charles and Marilyn ‘Lynne’ Helvie remember their first date as if it happened yesterday. The setting was Davenport, Iowa. He was a 27-year-old Mobil Oil marketing rep from Huntington, Indiana. She was a 24-year-old elementary school teacher from Iowa Falls.

“Friends of ours told me they wanted us to meet,” Lynne recalls from the couple’s home in Venice’s Jacaranda Trace. “I really didn't want to meet up with anybody. Charlie called and we set a date for New Year's Eve, which happened to be my birthday. I got excited but then he called and said he was sick. So I told myself that was that. But he called and called and finally, we got together. It was a blind date, of course. He jumped out of his car, ran up to my place, picked me up and carried me down to his car.”

“The way I heard about her was, my territory covered eastern Iowa and one of my Mobil dealers kept telling me about this cute little school teacher who drove a Sunbeam Alpine sports car,” Charlie explains. “Well, I didn't have time because I had 25 service stations and five were closed. I was spending all my days and evenings interviewing and looking for dealers. Anyway, I did finally call.”

“We went over to the Legion Club, and sat down at a little table,” Lynne says of their date. “We sat there from eight at night until two in the morning, and the next day I called my mother and told her I had met the man I was going to marry.”

What came next was a lifetime of love and devotion. That’s what happens when you match the youngest Eagle Scout in the state of Indiana—Charlie accomplished that when he was just 14—with a driven, confident woman like Lynne, who would go on to earn a Masters from Butler University, a PhD from Northern Illinois University, and eventually became the principal of a large elementary school in Fairfax, Virginia. The Helvies also spent periods of their lives in Chicago, and have been active Methodists throughout their 60 years of marriage. 

Today, the couple enjoys their four children, boys Lane and Brock and twin daughters Kim and Kristi, their four grandchildren, Ashley, Kyle, Vanessa and Kayla, and their families. The secret to marital bliss?

“Don’t fight and argue,” Charlie says. “We rarely had any kind of argument. We talked it all out.”

Jacaranda Trace, 3600 William Penn Way, Venice. www.jacarandatrace.com  941-408-2050

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