VALENTINES FOREVER

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News

February 14, 2015 - 12:00 AM

Nothing can stand in the way of Raymond and Sharon Sutterby’s love. Not war or illness, long distance or bad times.
The Iola sweethearts will celebrate 42 years of marriage Tuesday.
Their love story began at a local Iola eating establishment.
In 1970, Sharon Smith was a high school student working as a carhop at A&W Family Restaurant. Raymond frequented the place often with his buddies.
“Our first date was a double date with some mutual friends,” Raymond said.
Raymond is 4½ years older than Sharon. He studied at the junior college for two years and then enlisted in the military in late 1970.
“I was going to be drafted so I enlisted in the Army and left in January 1971,” he said. “I was in it for three years and went to Vietnam.”
The couple stayed together through Raymond’s deployment and on Feb. 17, 1973, they married.
“I was a senior in high school,” Sharon said. “I went with him to Junction City and finished high school up there. He was at Fort Riley at the time.”
The same year the Sutterbys moved back to Iola. Their family began to grow in 1976 when son Dayton was born. Daughter Kara followed in 1981.
When the children were young, Sharon ran a daycare out of her home. She then went to work for Allen County Regional Hospital. She is the food service director and has been there 27 years.
Raymond is semi-retired and works with NSA RV products. Before that, he worked for M&W.
Their “secret” for 42 years of marriage is to give and take, Raymond said.
“Also, have a garage that you can send your husband to,” Sharon said jokingly.
The Sutterbys also credit God.
“If God is the center then you can make it through a lot of things,” Sharon said.
In April 2013 their marriage was put through a rough endeavor when Raymond was badly injured in a car accident. He and two friends were driving back to Iola from a car show in Missouri. Their vehicle, driven by Richard Sigg, collided with a pickup truck near Girard. Sigg was killed in the accident, David Redford, another passenger in the car, was badly injured and Raymond broke his neck and several ribs.
“He broke his C2 vertebrae, which when that is broken, people usually die,” Sharon said. “It was the roughest thing that has happened to us.”
Raymond was in an out of consciousness, undergoing several surgeries, for 21 days following the accident. He was in the intensive care unit for many weeks afterward, and then was brought to ACRH for physical therapy.
“I am very lucky to be alive,” Raymond said.
Sharon also mentioned that sometimes with marriage it seems too “easy to walk away.” She said she and Raymond have found that having different interests is important for a marriage.
“I like to go to the movies with a friend and he likes to work in the garage with friends,” she said. “We do spend time together with mutual friends.”
Their four grandchildren, Taelyn, Shaylee, Kayton and Kale, keep them very active. They enjoy going to their grandkids’’ ball games and activities during the week.

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