They (still) do: La Jolla couple celebrates 70 years of marriage

Nancy and Bill Dubey on their 70th wedding anniversary.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Dressed in a sharp white suit and shell pink dress, Bill and Nancy Dubey celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary Aug. 24 with the same joy that one might expect from their actual wedding day. Surrounded by Pacific Regent neighbors and friends — and family from near and far — the couple rejoiced with dancing, cocktails and cutting a “wedding” cake.

And, like most love stories, it started with a kiss.

“I knew Bill’s sister when I was in college,” Nancy said. “She said her brother was coming out for a visit and asked whether I was interested in going out with him.”

Never interrupting his bride, but lending his perspective to the story, Bill added: “When I was leaving after that first date, I was in my car and I rolled down my window to say goodbye and she kissed me. It was all over for me then.”

Giggling, she continued: “I just liked him so much, right away. I knew this man was for me. That was in October 1948.”

The two only saw each other but four times between that fateful date and their engagement, writing love letters in between. “It’s how we got to know each other,” Bill said.

Bill proposed in April 1949 and they married in August of that year. The pair have been inseparable ever since.

“We have done things together all our lives,” Nancy said. “Even though each of us has had several careers. I think the thing that is most important in any marriage is to support each other — and fidelity to the marriage.”

<FZ,1,0,8>In their professional lives, Nancy was a reading specialist and an English-as-a-Second Language teacher. Bill was in the folding cardboard business (think tissue boxes) and became a director for Camp Rising Sun, a camp for teenagers in New York, which is still in existence today with a mission to “develop in promising young people from diverse backgrounds a lifelong commitment to sensitive and responsible leadership for the betterment of their communities and world.”

For 10 years, the two were counselors at camp every summer.

They have two children, Lon and Sharon; two grandchildren (each married), Mara and Jared; and a great-grandson on the way. After a “first retirement” in New Mexico for 20 years, the Dubeys moved to La Jolla to be closer to their children.

These days, Bill said: “We make each other laugh a lot ... she laughs at my jokes ... and we do little special things for each other ... we share in the housework. We are not competitors, we are partners.”