To My Valentine

February 14, 2019
1955 Wedding_Day_500x400
Donna married me "for better and for worse ... but not for lunch."

I proposed marriage to the love of my life, Donna Garff, by long-distance phone call – if you can believe it – in 1954. I was in Navy Supply School in Athens, Georgia, at the time, just starting my two-year stint as a ship’s supply officer aboard the USS Randolph.

Donna and I met as undergraduates at the University of Utah. I’ll never forget the first time I saw her. She was standing at a bus stop. I was riding by in my friend’s car. I said, “Who is that?” She definitely caught my eye – but it was when I got to know her that I saw what a beautiful person she is inside and out.

Fast forward one year, I am standing at a pay phone about to change my life in the most wonderful way possible. Before I proposed, I made sure that I had a stack of quarters ready. I started telling Donna how much I loved her, and the operator kept interrupting, asking me to deposit more money in the phone.

After I popped the question, Donna told me I’d have to call back! She wanted to talk it over with her father.

It was worth the wait. In June, we will celebrate 64 years together. Our union brought us four beautiful children and their spouses, 15 grandchildren, and 20 great-grandchildren … and counting.

Donna has been by my side through the good times, as our family and company have thrived, and the tough times, like my long hours on the road.

Without a doubt, that was the most important phone call of my life.

Donna, happy Valentine’s Day.

Lots of love,

Bill

I'm Bill Marriott and thank you for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.

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