Every other day Ray Olsen, 83, makes the trip to see his beloved wife L’Norah, who lives in an assisted living center.
After visiting with L’Norah for a couple of hours, Ray takes her into the dining room. He stays until the person who helps his wife is ready.
“When it’s time to go we give each other a big kiss,” Ray said. “And I tell her that I love her very much.”
Ray’s love for L’Norah has only strengthened since they met when he was serving in the U.S. Navy at the submarine base in Pearl Harbor in 1942.
Ray’s friend Tommy had married a girl from Sandpoint, Idaho named D’Lorah. Tommy thought it would be a good idea if Ray wrote to her twin sister L’Norah.
L’Norah wrote back to Ray.
Months went by and the two kept up their correspondence. When Ray received a 10-day leave he knew he had to meet L’Norah in person.
“When I saw her I thought, ‘This is the most beautiful woman. I would love to have her as my wife,’ ” Ray said.
Ray and L’Norah didn’t know that when his leave was over, Ray wouldn’t be back for two years. They kept their relationship alive with their letters.
When Ray was lonely and missed L’Norah, he would ask a shipmate to play “I’ll Be Seeing You.” He made her a locket with their pictures in it. L’Norah still wears it.
Ray went back to the submarine base and was assigned to a ship that carried troops and machinery for invasions. The ship went to San Francisco to take on more troops. Ray called L’Norah long distance and asked her to marry him.
Ray and L’Norah Olsen celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at a party with family and friends.
They were married Nov. 23, 1945, in Sandpoint, Idaho.
When the war ended Ray had enough time served overseas that he was able to get out of the Navy right away. He was discharged in Bremerton and went to Seattle on Nov. 4. He had 75 cents for the ferry fare.
Ray and L’Norah were married later that month and they moved to Seattle. They bought their first home for $3,500. Ray and L’Norah have two children and two grandchildren.
“It doesn’t seem like 60 years,” Ray said. “Time just passed by so fast.”
The couple never went to sleep mad at each other. They had some differences but no bad disagreements.
“If I was to handpick a person to be my wife it would have to be a woman like L’Norah,” Ray said. “I can’t think of another person I’d want to be married to.”
Ray has had two triple bypass surgeries. He lives at Brighton Court in Lynnwood.
L’Norah lives in assisted living. She doesn’t recognize anyone but Ray. When friend Gerry Andal sang a love song to the couple at their anniversary party, L’Norah leaned over and took Ray’s hand.
Ray’s visits with L’Norah begin at 9:30 a.m. They sit on a sofa in the hallway and she puts her head on his shoulder. Ray puts a loving arm around his wife. He can tell when she’s fallen asleep.
“I tell her that I love her and that I love her very, very much,” Ray said. “I love her more than I can say.”