California couple celebrates 77th wedding anniversary

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. -- Manny and Alice Dieckilman looked at black-and-white pictures of their wedding day back on Sept. 1, 1939.

"We were married at the First Christian Church in Michigan City, Indiana," Manny recalled.

Manny was 21 and Alice 19 when they exchanged vows before 75 people at their church.

"We really didn't have a lot of money. My shoes cost $4 and my dress cost $15," Alice remembered as she looked at her wedding photos spread out on the dining room table of their Huntington Beach home.

The two belonged to a youth group called Christian Endeavor and met at a rally in Indiana.

"I had a nice, beautiful 1937 green Chevrolet that she liked to ride in so I took her home," Manny quipped.

They got married following a three month engagement after Manny returned from Bible College in 1939.

Manny, who worked as a plumber and pipe-fitter, and Alice, who was a housekeeper, moved to California in 1976. The two remained active in the community and with their church.

They both taught Sunday school as they raised their four children: Thomas, now 73; Susan, 69; Valerie, 67; and Kevin, 66.

They also have grandchildren and great grandchildren who visit them.

Manny, now 98, and Alice now 96, still go out for coffee every morning, although they admit they're slowing down. Manny has health problems and must use a walker. Their love for each other, however, has not dimmed.

Ask Manny what he loves about Alice.

"Everything, everything...she's a great, great partner," he said.

Ask Alice what she loves about her partner.

"He loves people. He loves to talk. He's very kind," she said.

On their 77th wedding anniversary, the two said they had no major plans, just lunch with friends and dinner with family.

They credited their close family and their positive attitude for such a long and happy marriage.

"We do things together," Manny explained. "We just keep running on and on and on."

When it comes to difficult times, the couple offered sound advice.

"You have to take it as it comes," Manny said. "There are so many good things that overshadow the tiny small things."

"There's a lot of give and take," added Alice. "You make a choice and you stick to that choice."

Manny also said a sense of humor doesn't hurt.

"There's no question we're going to stay together. After this long what choice do I have," Manny said with a chuckle.