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Archive for Saturday, July 22, 2000

Couple reunited after 75 years hurt in crash

July 22, 2000

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— An elderly couple who were married last month, more than 75 years after they first were college sweethearts, were critically injured in a crash this week.

Paul Johnston, 95, and Lula Marschat, 94, who were married on June 10, were involved in a head-on collision with another car on Tuesday as they were taking peaches to a 102-year-old friend. Police believe the other driver drifted into their lane on a highway about 40 miles south of Portland.

The couple's romance was rekindled this spring after Johnston found Marschat's address in Idaho and wrote to her.

They had had a brief romance in 1924 while attending a small college in Idaho, but had gone their separate ways. Both became teachers, had children and were widowed.

When Marschat responded to Johnston's letter, he immediately flew from Oregon to see her.

Four days later, Johnston proposed.

The bride's daughter, Marilyn Marschat Rhodes, said the two are in separate rooms in the hospital's intensive care unit.

"As Paul gets stronger, he's going to insist on getting wheeled in there," she said.

As for her mother, Rhodes said, "The nurse says she continues to hold her own. That's how they're putting it."

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