“Love does not mean you will always agree, see eye to eye, or never have an argument. It means despite the bad days, you still can’t see yourself without the other person.”
Jim and Darleen Powers are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. While their “official” anniversary is Dec. 12, their family invites you to join with them in celebrating this special day on Saturday, Nov. 30, from 2-4 p.m. at the Valier Methodist Church.
Jim and Darleen’s 70-year love affair dates back to their high school days in Valier.
Jim was born in Conrad on Dec. 5, 1928 to Grace and Vern Powers. He attended a country school his first three grades and then went to the Valier Schools, graduating in 1947. Darleen was born in Kelso, Wash., to Agnes and Noyes Embody on May 27, 1930. In 1934 the family moved to Valier and she attended school there, graduating in 1949.
“We met in high school,” recalls Darleen. She was a cheerleader and Jim managed the boys football and basketball teams. It was shortly after she graduated that Jim “popped” the big question.
“Jim proposed and we went to Great Falls to pick out our engagement ring in July,” recalled Darleen. Darleen’s girlfriends gave her a wonderful wedding shower in October with many friends, family and teachers. “We were married in the Great Falls Methodist Church on Dec. 12, 1949.”
The couple moved into a home Jim built with the help of Turkey Stephens. Then added on to it a couple of times and then in 1964 they moved into a new split level house on the farm north of town.
Both Jim and Darleen were hard workers. Jim farmed in the summer, drove school bus for eight years and worked for Briden Chevrolet for two winters. Darleen worked in the Clerk and Recorder’s office for Mr. Wickware and then for Mr. Felska at the Five and Dime in Conrad. “They were the best bosses in the world,” she smiled.
Their marriage blessed them with three children, Douglas born in 1953, who later married Ruth; Donita in 1954, who later married Monty Johnson; and Julene in 1959, who married Terry Peters. From those unions, Jim and Darleen have many grandchildren and great-children, including, Luke, Karli and Ria Redd; Jace, Molly, Sophia and Eva Redd; Maaika Powers; Hayley, Nolan, Brody and Ryatt Richards; Cassie, Mack and Annie Andrews; Steven Peters and Brett Peters. Donita died of cancer in March of 2019.
Jim and Darleen were very active members of the community. Jim was Community Club President, belonged to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Rifle Club. He enjoyed bowling and square dance clubs.
Darleen is still a member of the Red Hats and was very active in the American Legion Auxiliary, including serving as the Auxiliary secretary for 20 years. She was a Girl Scout leader and Jim was active with Boy Scouts. The couple enjoyed taking the Methodist Youth Fellowship children roller skating, mostly because they liked to roller skate too, added Darleen.
“Family was very important to us,” shared Darleen. “We always took our children on trips. We stayed in Glacier Park, visited Disneyland in California and other fairs and carnivals,” she reminisced. And then later, as empty nesters, Jim and Darleen took many trips to Glacier National Park and visited family and friends in Washington, California, Minnesota, Kentucky, South Carolina, Arizona, Arkansas, Texas and also enjoyed cruises to Alaska and the Carribbean.
Darleen and Jim moved to town to a one level house in 2013. They still live at their home in Valier most of the time, but will spend three months this winter at The Horizon Lodge in Conrad.
Looking back on their experiences and seven decades of marriage, Darleen and Jim have this advice to offer. “Whatever you do put your whole heart into it and do your best!”
Darleen added, “We both feel our parents were such an important part of our lives and made us what we are.”