By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published November 6, 2008
They met in grade school in small town Connecticut and started to date after World War II. After John popped the question, he wanted to move the wedding date up, despite his mother’s concerns. Marion was 20 and he was two days shy of 21 when they married.
They survived the 1958 flood that swept away their town. The Red Cross gave them vouchers to buy clothing—and that kindness made them life-long supporters of the organization. The couple raised three children.
As manufacturing plants were shuttered in the early 1970s, the family faced unemployment. They left for Florida, which became home for more than 20 years.
Four years ago, they moved to Canton, about an hour north of Atlanta, to be close to a daughter. They worship at St. Michael the Archangel Church. He belongs to the ROMEOs (Retired Old Men Eating Out) and she meets a group of girlfriends named the Juliets when it is the ladies’ time for dinner out.
Their dedication was honored at the 50th and 60th Marriage Anniversary Mass on Saturday, Oct. 25. Some 126 couples attended the Mass celebrated by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory at St. Brigid Church, Johns Creek.
The Jadicks talked about their life together sitting in their living room as they sipped decaf coffee and snacked on cookies.
How did you meet?
Marion: John came over to my school in 6th grade. He was in my art class. From then on, he was in all my classes. We graduated together in eighth grade and then went on to high school together
John: I left high school after my junior year at 17—I was afraid the war was going to be over—to join the Navy. Afterwards, I came back and the town had a party for returning veterans. All the veterans marched. After the parade, the women served the veterans dinner. Lo and behold, we met again. I asked her out at the party.
Marion: Then he went off to school. This is really cute. He would cut out pictures of knights in armor and say that he’s my knight in shining armor.
What did you do for dates?
Marion: One thing we really loved to do—there was a restaurant and they made absolutely wonderful hamburgers. If we’d go to a show or something, and we’d be hungry, we’d go there and get a hamburger. It used to have a lot of fried onions on it. We used to go up on this great big tall hill and have our hamburger and coffee. That was our big deal.
John: It was Paul’s Lunch. It was right in the middle of town.
How did you propose John?
John: Holy cow. I don’t remember.
Marion: He didn’t literally get down on one knee. He just said we’re going to get married, OK? And will you marry me? And I said yes.
John: That was in January ’48.
Marion: Being that he belonged to the Ukrainian Catholic Church and I belonged to St. Augustine Church, he wanted to get married soon and Easter was coming up, so we couldn’t get married during those weeks. So he kept pushing the marriage up and his mother kept saying, hmm, hmm, hmm. We got married a week before Easter that year.
John: My dad was a judge of probate when we got married. In fact, I didn’t even have to pay for our marriage license because the town hall said, ‘Oh, John’s son? No. Forget it.’
Tell me about the wedding picture. What church did you get married in?
Marion: St. Peter and St. Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ansonia. It is an absolutely beautiful church. It is like a cathedral. They have all these gold walls. And the icons are just absolutely beautiful. The church was enormous. And walking down that aisle, I shook so bad. We had five priests at our marriage. I was shaking so bad the five priests were holding me up. I was a wreck. Without them, I probably wouldn’t have made it. We had the crowns. They walked around us five times with the crowns and the candles. It was an absolutely gorgeous, gorgeous ceremony.
John: I was wearing a suit. I got it in Waterbury in Jones Morgan & Co. It was a three-button suit and that’s what I wore. It was Ivy League. I was nervous. I was very nervous.
Did you go on a honeymoon?
John: We went to Boston.
Marion: We stayed at the Copley Hotel.
John: We went to the circus. We spent a lot of time at the Boston Pops. We love classical music.
Marion: The first night we went to the circus because I wanted to go to the circus so bad. And then we went to the Boston Pops every night.
John: Arthur Fiedler was the conductor.
Marion: At the time I went with him, he always had classical music on the radio. There was one station out of New Haven that didn’t sign off at all at night. After we were married, we’d sit in the car and listen to it. We’d listen to finish off the symphony or whatever. We couldn’t part with it. Our first meal, which we celebrated every year until the last couple years, was a filet mignon.
John: And potatoes au gratin.
Marion: I don’t remember the vegetable and we always had …
John: Strawberry shortcake.
Marion: That was our first honeymoon dinner. We were supposed to be there five days, but I think we stayed seven. He called his father and said send up some more money because we want to stay another two days. The Copley Hotel at that time was the most expensive hotel in Boston. I saved the receipt. I think the whole seven days cost us $100, including having my hair done.
John: And I got my first shave by a barber.
Tell me about your first home.
John: Our first home was Humphrey Street, a cold-water flat. That was right in the center of town, right above the railroad tracks. It was up on a hill. It was cold in the wintertime.
Marion: We had a lot of fun. We would count the cars on the railroad tracks. We used to have a one-arm bandit (a slot machine), an old antique. When friends came over, we used to all play the one-arm bandit. They’d get their money back. It was a lot of fun. It was so cold. The bedroom was like ice.
Was there a stressful time in your married life?
Marion: When we moved to Florida because he didn’t have a job. His father and his uncle owned a plumbing company. It was bought out. The new owners had said, unconditionally, that his father and John would have jobs as salesmen. About a year later, they were both let go. There was nothing left in Connecticut.
John: I said I’m tired of the snow. My sister was in Jacksonville. So I moved down there, and Marion stayed to sell the house. I’ll tell you, she was fantastic.
Marion: We rented a U-Haul truck. My son and his friends packed it for me and they drove it down.
John: I couldn’t wait for her to get to Florida. I got an apartment ready for her for when she got down there.
Marion: When he moved down, he had the promise of a job. But when he got there, he didn’t have the job. You know how the people do that? That had to be stressful for him.
Why is it important to attend the Mass for your 60th anniversary?
John: I think it’s wonderful—our 60th anniversary and we’re being remarried by the archbishop. We’ve been together that long, that we’ve really survived a lot. And I still love her.
Marion: To me it is very, very meaningful being remarried. It is like sanctioning our marriage. And we’ve lasted together through thick and thin. That we’re still together. And we can make it. It’s a wonderful feeling.
John: Before I go to sleep every night, I tell her I love her.
Marion: We may go to bed not happy with each other, but at least we kiss each other good night.
Any advice for a successful marriage?
Marion: Don’t give up just because maybe something doesn’t go right. If you really love one another, there is a lot you are going to go through, but if you stick it out you may find out it was well worth it. They need to be encouraged.
John: Just because they are arguing or have a disagreement, you don’t get a divorce for it. You have to stick together. You have to iron things out. It is ridiculous to walk away.
Marion: It kind of helps I get my way.