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Looking Back : Romance for the Holidays, After Almost 40 Years Apart

December 31, 1987|DAVID LARSEN

"We like to listen to the oldies and the goodies on the radio," Muriel Koch said. "When Steven and I were married in the '40s, we didn't even have a radio."

The Koches were reflecting on their new life. Late in June, after divorcing almost 40 years ago, they once again became husband and wife.

Their reunion came about after their daughter, Lynette of Gilman Hot Springs in Riverside County, and son, Bob of Cypress, had searched many years for their father. He had disappeared while the son was an infant and before the daughter was born. In the interim, each parent had married again, each had again divorced, and both now were single and about to retire.

Located Their Father

With a little bit of luck, the children finally located their father in the Bay Area, got to meet him, introduced him again to their mother living in Nevada--and the remarriage followed.

After honeymooning in Minnesota, the couple first moved into a small mobile home in Bullhead City, Ariz. But recently they purchased 1 acres of land in Golden Valley, Ariz., where they now live in a larger mobile home, complete with fireplace.

"Used to be, when he got mad, he wouldn't talk to me, and vice versa," Muriel said. "We have our spats again, as every couple should, but now we both talk to each other about how we feel.

"Most of the time, everything seems to make us laugh now."

She laughed while recalling how they were putting up a storage shed not long ago. The temperature was 110 degrees, and a strong wind was blowing.

Christmas Together

"Afterward I commented that if we were ever going to get a divorce again, that would have done it."

But this was their first Christmas together as husband and wife since just after World War II, and there figure to be more of them.

"If I had known then what I know now about how to get along, we would never have split up," Steven said.

Any changes they find in each other's personalities after 40 years apart?

Steven: "She hasn't changed a heck of a lot, still as lively as ever."

Muriel: "He was more of an introvert then, now he is more outgoing."

The 65-year-old husband and the 62-year-old wife are retired, and they keep busy hanging drapes, planting a cactus garden, still getting to know each other again after all these decades.

"We're more romantic now," Muriel said. "We both kiss better."

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