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,


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

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Congratulations Mr Marriot, on your long marriage always behind a great man there is a great woman.

such a romantic story

Mr. Marriott...
First of all...what a wonderful, wonderful are blessed to have each other! My parent's shared the same love... only with an Airforce flair.
I have never blogged but must tell you of the great service i received from Ginny and John (chief chef) at Jacksonville Marriott.
Here for you know they always set gold standand... but these two beat that.
Please thank them for me for a great experience... especially as a single sales rep working a Sunday afternoon!

CONGRATULATIONS! You have been bestowed great blessings by being given the great gift of Donna! You are a very blessed man! Our nation us grateful for your service! God bless you!!!

What a lovely story, thanks for sharing. Wishing you and yours continued blessings.


Mr. Marriott- I loved reading your blog about your wonderful valentine. I can relate. I met my wife at Marriott in 1977 and the opportunities you provided for us have kept us happy and very grateful. We celebrated 40 years of marriage last year. Thanks in large part to you they have been wonderfully exciting and fulfilling. You and Donna are wonderful role models.

Hank Biddle

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful love story! I can't believer you've been together longer than I've been alive! I can only pray that one day I find the love of my life and be as happy as you two are. I look forward to reading your blogs and wish you and Donna even more years of happiness. Thank you for what you do and what you stand for. Continued blessings to you and your entire family!

Amazing Story!

That is a wonderful story and perfect for today!!