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77 Years in The Making: The Story of Bernie and Kay

This week, Bernie and Kay, who call American House Bluewater Bay home, celebrated 77 years of marriage. 

They married on January 4, 1944, in the midst of World War II, right before Bernie was deployed. The couple had been together for three years prior and although they would be separated for the first year of marriage, they were on a mission to win the battle of love. 

The couple made sure to write to each other, but the letters were very disjointed because they were often cut up by the censors to ensure there were no hints of where the soldiers were or what they were doing, which resulted in some pretty funny letters. Bernie and Kay

Bernie would end up carrying out 150 missions as a pilot for the Army Air Corps and Air Force. He flew 24 different aircrafts during his career that included both World War II and the war in Vietnam. 

Early on, Bernie was told he’d be sent home after flying 65 missions, so he tried to devise a way to tell Kay how many missions he had flown without being caught by the censors. Although Kay didn’t find out until he returned that Bernie had been writing his mission number under the stamp, the couple still laughs about it today. 

Due to his military career, Bernie and Kay traveled to and lived in many places, including Japan, Scotland, Russia, Spain, Ireland and all over the United States. They would go on to raise two sons, Bob and Mike, and live in their long-time home of 40 years before moving to Florida. 

Bernie later worked as a professor of air science at Michigan State University and then at the Pentagon, while Kay ran the house and worked as a dental assistant in an orthodontist’s office. 

Bernie and KayWhen asked for advice for young couples, Kay said she believes the strength of marriage stems from spending quality time together. 

When Bernie took up golf early in their marriage, Kay would accompany him around the course — not to play, but just to have the chance for a walk with him, she said. 

Today, the couple loves playing bridge together and spending time with their son Mike (Bob passed away eight years ago), their three grandchildren and their many great-grandchildren. 

We all have a story. A story that defined us. Changed us. Taught us something. Our seniors have a wealth of stories that store a wealth of wisdom. 

At American House, your next chapter is waiting to be written. We’re here to help you write it. Your way. 

Bernie and Kay
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