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For Valentine's Day, some true love stories

JENNIFER McGAW and KEVIN SHAWVER

The Mirror

Jennifer McGaw, formerly of Federal Way and now living in San Francisco, Calif., is engaged to Kevin Shawver. They’re planning a wedding for spring 2007, after which she’ll draw inspiration from her parents for making a happy marriage.

Alan and Diana McGaw of Federal Way “have been happily married for almost 30 years and have always set a good example of what I should strive for in my own marriage some day,” she said. “My dad always says he lives to make my mom happy. It sounds oversimplified, but it’s the little things that we do for each other in a relationship that make the biggest difference.”

It also helps, McGaw said, if both people share visions for the big picture in life and “try to see things from the other’s perspective before getting angry. And laugh –– a lot!”

McGaw and Shawver, who work for advertising agencies in San Francisco, met through a mutual friend in August 2004. Was it love at first sight? Not exactly, she said.

“I believe that rather than loving someone at first sight, you love the way you feel when you first see them,” she explained. “It was the sum of a million little things that made me fall in love with Kevin over time.”

Last New Year’s Eve, in a coastal cabin in northern California, Shawver proposed. “It was the single happiest moment of my life,” McGaw said. “It didn’t happen flawlessly like in the movies –– he couldn’t get the ring box out of his back pocket –– but that’s what made it uniquely our special moment. We found each other, and now we get to spend the rest of our lives together.”

MAXINE and PETER BINTNER

For The Mirror

What do you call a husband and wife who have been wed for 67 years?

At Village Green Retirement Community in Federal Way, they call them the Valentine Couple, happily married since 1939.

Peter and Maxine Bintner met at a community dance in Hoquiam in April 1939. The attraction for Maxine was instant. Maxine’s mother accompanied her to the dance, as was the custom in those days. Peter asked Maxine to dance. After the dance, Maxine told her mother, “Some day, I’m going to marry that boy.”

They started dating and were married five months later.

After serving with the Navy Seabee in Okinawa, Japan and the South Pacific during World War II, Peter returned home and worked as a pipefitter at the Rayonier Corp. pulp mill in Hoquiam for 41 years.

Maxine also had an active career. She was employed at the Hanford Manhattan Project during the war, then worked for a medical doctor and operated a beauty shop in later years.

Their marriage produced two daughters and a son.

Today, Peter and Maxine are still active. They danced the first dance at their grandaughter’s wedding last year.

What’s the secret to a long marriage? Maxine and Peter say it requires “not holding a grudge.”

And, they added, they never end the day with a quarrel.

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