Lorraine and Jim Gaskell


Seventy years and counting.

Longtime Chanute residents Jim and Lorraine Gaskell will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary Thursday, August 13.

They were married in Overbrook, south of Topeka, on August 13, 1950.

Lorraine, raised in Clifton, was 20. Jim, raised in Missouri then on a farm near Horton after the age of 9, was 22.

Friends Mary Starkey and David Bartholomew stood up for them.

Lorraine’s dad didn’t want to be a part of the wedding, she remembered. He had offered the couple $500 to get out of it. They persisted.

“He walked me down the aisle in his new double-breasted suit, unbuttoned, with his hands behind his back,” she recalled.

Jim said of the wedding, “It was a great day.”

Neither expected to be together 70 years. “I didn’t think I would live this long. I’m thankful for that,” Jim said.

“I was happy just to make it to 50 years,” Lorraine said. “I had some health problems. Never in a million years did I think I would make it this long.”

They offered advice for a successful marriage.

“Hang in there no matter what,” Lorraine said. “The Lord helped us through so many difficulties and times.”

“Both sides have to get together and agree,” Jim said.

Jim was in the US Army from 1955-57, living in New Jersey until be transferred to Ft. Lewis, Wash., where he was a repairman for the Nike Guided Missile Sites.

The Gaskells moved from Labette County to Chanute on June 1, 1971 where Jim served as coordinator of the Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) until April 1994.

The couple traveled with his work, taking them to many states.

He had a part-time position with Chanute funeral homes for nine years.

Their children are Barb Parker, Wichita, and Dan Gaskell (Cindy), Tyler, Texas. They have 7 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

There will be no celebration due to COVID-19.

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