Starting with a wedding

Richard and Jean Rudolph

PEMBROKE — It all started with a wedding and a kiss.

Richard and Jean Rudolph, who took second place in The Daily News Valentine’s Couple Contest, met at Jean’s cousin, Wayne, and Richard’s sister, Myra, wedding in November 1947.

“After the wedding was over she came up through the church and said, ‘Well I kissed everyone in the wedding party.’ I said, ‘Well you haven’t kissed me yet,’ and give her a good old smacker, and she disappeared from then,” Richard said with a laugh. “Then about two weeks later I called her and asked her to go to the square dance in East Pembroke, and she accepted. From then on it was a steady thing.”

Jean admitted when he first called, she thought he was calling for her older sister, who was closer to his age. After the square dance, she said they went to a diner in Batavia.

“He brought me a box of candy for Valentine’s Day that next year. We’ve only been dating for a couple of months, and it was a beautiful heart-shaped box of candy,” Jean said. “I never had one of those before because I came from such a big family — I had six sisters and six brothers. I never had been treated so royally in all my life as that. I kept those things for years.”

Richard and Jean married a year later.

The couple went on to have four children — which they said was “the best thing that happened to us” — and now have 10 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

They have now been married for 68 years.