Mary and Ted Purvin on their wedding day in 1943. | Provided

A love story began more than 75 years ago in Champaign, Illinois, when a young Ted Purvin met his friend’s sister, Mary. 

Purvin left Champaign and didn’t see Mary for several years, because he was serving in the Navy during World War II. When he did return, he saw Mary again and proclaimed, “She was a beauty.” Friendship bloomed into marriage and on May 18, 1943 the couple were wed at Holy Cross Church in Champaign.

The couple moved around to all points of the country for Ted’s jobs, eventually settling in 1953 in Riverside, where they raised four children, Judy, Ted, Pat and Tom. They kept busy with their children and their church, St. Mary’s. 

Mary Purvin volunteered her time to the parish’s Altar and Rosary Society now known as Council of Catholic Women, and was asked to assume the role of president of the group. It was at the parish they began a long friendship with a young priest, Father Timothy Lyne, who would become Bishop Lyne years after leaving St. Mary’s.

The years passed and the family kept busy with each other, school, work and their church. Ted is retired and now the couple spends part of the year in Florida and part of the year at their condo in Hinsdale.

Fast forward to 2018. The love story continues with Mary and Ted celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary this year. They celebrated the actual day in Florida and on June 11, they celebrated in Riverside with Mass at St. Mary’s, where they received a papal blessing.

Following the Mass, the party continued at The Chew restaurant, where a little over 50 relatives and friends gathered to toast the couple.

One can only wonder what the secret is for the Purvins, but according to their daughter, Judy Scully, and granddaughter, Missy Kotrba, the couple still like to hold hands. 

According to their daughter, Mary Purvin uses a walker so she has to remind her father not to try to hold her hand while walking, “Wait till she’s sitting Dad.”

Next the couple will be looking forward to their birthdays. Mary will turn 95 and Ted will turn 100, another milestone in their lives, which began with the boy in the Navy and the beauty from Champaign. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Purvin!