Harold Jordan is planning a special dinner for his Valentine — his wife Marna. The longtime Burbank residents have been married for 61 years.
The couple met in a youth group at Magnolia Park United Methodist Church when they were in high school. He graduated in 1948 from Burbank High and she in 1950 from Burroughs. Harold, 83, was the youth leader and he said he used to pick on Marna, 81. After a group dinner, Harold would volunteer her to wash the dishes.
The teasing paid off because they started dating and were married on May 13, 1951. They have three grown children — Stephen, Michael and Mark. While their boys were growing up, Marna was active in PTA, and the boys' youth groups — DeMolay, YMCA Indian Guides and Boy Scouts.
Harold is now active in Family Promise of the East San Fernando Valley, a nonprofit network that provides temporary assistance for families with children experiencing homelessness. He is president of the board and served as the interim director until a new director was hired in January. He also was appointed to a committee by the City Council to solve parking and traffic problems in Magnolia Park.
The couple offered suggestions for keeping romance alive.
“I think you just have to really love the other person and care about everything they do and each other's problems and each other's desires and expectations,” Harold said.
Marna added that having a connection to one's mate is important.
“I feel I have a connection with Harold that in no way could it be broken,” she said. “We understand each other, we enjoy each other. I have had to have many surgeries and he has taken care of me and takes care of things for me I can't do now, like housework. I mention it and the next thing I know it's done. You have to enjoy doing things for each other.”
--JOYCE RUDOLPH can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.