66th: Lillian and Don Katzenberger

The Clarkston couple celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary Nov. 7.

Here’s how it all began, according to Lillian: The home phone rang, and a voice said, “Would you accept a collect call from Japan?” My mother, surprised, said, “From where?” That call was from Don, and Mother accepted and handed me the phone.

The message was clear and short: “I will be home in a few weeks. Will you marry me and come back to Camp Pendleton (Calif.) while I am home?”

With a quick breath, I replied, “Did you say, ‘Marry me?’ Sure! When?”

Two weeks after that phone call, Lillian Paroz and Don Katzenberger were married in front of family and friends, Nov. 7, 1954, in the Potlatch Presbyterian Church. Don had just arrived home from many months in Japan serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Lillian was attending nursing school in Spokane.

The couple lived and farmed in Pomeroy and later moved to Clarkston.

Lillian writes, “Marriage has been a great learning time: forgiveness, compassion, love, excitement. Prayer became our main language. We had many adventures and new experiences. We wouldn’t trade it. We love each other.”

Lillian and Don have one son, Doug, and one daughter, Rianne. Their oldest son, Tony, died in 1992. They also have numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

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