Fifty-five years together — and counting

Milford. Kathrin De Smedt tells of her marriage that began in Germany, went many places and then landed in Milford, as the couple celebrates their 55th anniversary.

| 20 Jun 2022 | 05:04

It was back in November 1965 in my hometown of Schoeningen, Germany, that Bill and I met at a school dance where he was playing with a local band. After a year together followed by a year spent on opposite sides of the Atlantic, we married on June 16, 1967 in Germany, cruised the Mediterranean for a dream honeymoon, then got married one more time (just to make sure it would stick) in a little stone church in Upper Saddle River, NJ.

We first moved to the Bronx where Bill attended Fordham University and I worked as a goldsmith in Manhattan. After his graduation, we moved to Massachusetts where Bill entered a master’s program at Harvard University’s Russian Research Center. Our family had grown with the births of our two sons, Jeffrey and Daniel, but we were still on the move, as Bill’s studies took us first to Cologne, Germany and then to Moscow on the US/USSR graduate student exchange. Returning home for a few months, we next moved to Italy in 1976, where Bill went to work as European Representative for a container shipping line.

Altogether we moved twelve times in the first thirteen years we were married. Having grown up dreaming of the wider world beyond my small German town, I loved every minute of it!

But thereafter things began to settle down: We returned to the states once more, where Bill continued working for the shipping line during the day while earning another master’s degree — this time in computer science — at night. Those credentials got him a job with a New York consulting firm, while I worked as a goldsmith for two well-known New Jersey jewelry stores.

When our boys left for college, my first stateside employer offered me a partnership in his special-order jewelry business, which had relocated from New York City to Honesdale.

Since Bill was now consulting for AT&T in Basking Ridge NJ, we split the difference and moved to Milford.

After my partner retired, I continued the business, crafting gold jewelry for stores throughout the United States for eight more years. At that point, I got my Pennsylvania real estate license and enjoyed selling homes in Pike County for another dozen years.

In 2017, Bill was offered work as a knowledge engineer in Carlsbad, CA, so we moved yet again — this time to Southern California. We loved it there, but returned to Milford when COVID-19 struck.

Bill is still working, building ontologies for Fortune 500 companies. He’s also found time to author three novels, the latest of which — a technothriller called Triploidy — was just published in April of this year. I work on design projects and garden around our home overlooking the beautiful Delaware River Valley.

We have four grandchildren ages 17 to 27.

We count ourselves lucky to still be together after 55 whirlwind years, still living a very interesting life and looking forward to what tomorrow brings.