Dean and Carole Mann of Carrollton, married 50 years in November 2023.CARROLLTON - Dean and Carole Mann are a married couple that will never be forgotten in their small hometown of Carrollton, IL. The two were married on November 3, 1973, in the community and have remained glued hand-in-hand for nearly 50 years. The two will be married 50 years as of November 3, 2023.

Carole and Dean have always exemplified what it really takes to have a wonderful, lasting marriage to their children, grandchildren, and first and several degrees of cousins and other friends and relatives.

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The two started dating on May 21, 1971. Dean was drafted into the Vietnam War and they started seeing each other shortly after that.

"We communicated by letters, as there were no computers or cell phones," Carole said. "Dean was discharged in February 1973 and we got married November 3, 1973 - 50 years this year! We appreciate every day together and enjoy each day together. We love to walk, bike ride, and hike at Pere Marquette. Simple things together!"

Carole said she shares so many wonderful memories with her beloved husband.

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"We both love Halloween and having Halloween parties and decorating our garage for trick-or-treaters," she said. "Other wonderful memories are the day Dean got home from Vietnam, our wedding day, the birth of each of our four children, and the birth of each of our six grandchildren. God has truly blessed us!"

St. John's Catholic Church in Carrollton has more than a special meaning to both Dean and Carole. In fact, their church has always been the most important part of their lives other than family and friends.

"We were married at St. John’s Catholic Church in Carrollton and continue to attend that church," Carole said. "I believe faith is an important part of marriage. Time has passed very quickly! We are very blessed and happy to have been married for almost 50 years. We have several friends that were not able to celebrate 50 years together, as their spouse passed away, so we appreciate each day!"

Carole said there are a couple of keys to successful marriage she would share with everyone: "I think communication can be the key to a happy marriage. Also, enjoy the simple things in life and respect one another."

Dean and Carole have devoted so many hours to youth in the community in various sports. Dean had a batting cage in his backyard that was open to all comers and it helped produced many .400 batting average hitters in Carrollton. Their son, Jake, was always a stellar person at the plate, hitting near that mark throughout his entire high school career. The youth of Carrollton will never forget Dean's devotion to them and Carole spent equal time volunteering at games and fundraisers, etc. The couple always made things work for their special children and now grandchildren and many of the other kids of Greene County.

Carole said she never looked at her and Dean as perfect ambassadors of marriage, but they are "happy and blessed."
"We had so little money for so long," she said. "Sometimes I didn’t know how we would make it raising four kids. Maybe it made us better. We never ever had an argument over money."
Carole and Dean have always loved their extended family which includes 12 first cousins for Carole and a host of loving aunts and uncles. She recently lost one of her favorites - her Aunt Martha - who she conversed with almost each and every day and she says she already misses her in a deep fashion.
"We have a very special bond and I love it!" Carole said of her immediate and extended family and friends. "We have had a very blessed life."
Carole and Dean are a perfect married couple to salute on Valentine's Day, a pair almost anyone who wants a successful marriage would love to emulate.

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