Dahlstroms celebrate 70 years of love and marriage
Dorothy and Cully Dahlstrom just as in love after 70 years of marriage as on their wedding day.
By Daniel Williams, photos courtesy of Diane Dahlstrom Johnson
In 1962, Vail Ski Resort opened. A year later Cully and Dorothy Dahlstrom vacationed there from Chicago. They loved the area and began visiting annually, eventually buying a place of their own to have as a home base in Colorado. Over the Labor Day weekend, family from as far away as Texas met in Vail to kick off a week of celebrations honoring Cully and Dorothy’s 70th wedding anniversary.
“Vail has always been a special place for them,” said their daughter, Diane Dahlstrom Johnson. “There were 16 of us in Vail for a brunch over Labor Day weekend that started the celebration, but my mom, who is 90, had hosted a dinner party over the summer at their home in Castle Pines Village.”
Cully and Dorothy met while attending North Park College in Chicago. Cully had returned to the states after serving in World War II with the Navy’s Seabees in Guam and the young couple met and soon fell in love. Their first date was at a drive-in theatre and they were married at a small church with the reception in a school gym.
The young couple didn’t have a lot of money in those days, said Diane. “Mom paid for her own dress that was $100, but she couldn’t afford the hoop slip for underneath because it was another $25!”
Their first apartment was above a home in Arlington Heights, Illinois that they named Poverty Gulch. As with many young couples, their fortunes would change and they would have enough money to vacation to places like Arizona for Cubs spring training or to Colorado where they would take Diane and her older brother Doug, also a Castle Pines resident.
Four generations of the Dahlstrom family met in Vail over Labor Day weekend to celebrate Cully and Dorothy’s 70th wedding anniversary.
“Doug and I both loved Colorado and loved to ski, and we attended CSU and never really left,” said Diane.
Although Cully and Dorothy had a place in Vail, they wanted to be closer to the kids and grandkids and moved to Castle Pines in 1992 after retiring. They would eventually move to their place in The Village at Castle Pines, where they live to this day and have become fixtures in their church and in their community.
Cully, who is 92, likes to golf at least once a week. He also loves to tinker in the garage and on snowy days, if the plow hasn’t come through by 9 or 10 in the morning, he can be found outside clearing a path. Whether he’s sitting on a park bench in Vail or out running errands at the grocery, Cully will wear his hat from the Navy and people will stop to ask him about his time in the service. By the end of the conversation, it’s Cully who will know their life’s story.
Dorothy has a daily devotional every morning and completes a crossword puzzle and Sudoku everyday. She is also a great homemaker and entertainer. In addition to throwing parties, she also loves to bake cookies. When Diane’s daughters were married, Dorothy baked 400 cookies for each wedding. Some say the coconut cookies were the best.
When asked about their secret to a long, healthy marriage, the Dahlstroms said faith, family and friends inspire them—and it’s their love for one another that keeps them young.