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Valley Home News 5-12-21
Winnie Mullins

This week I would like to honor the life of the handsome caring man that asked me to marry him when I was 17 years old! He was 18 years old at the time!! Back in those days we all cruised on Pacific Avenue in Stockton. Every Friday night young people would come from towns all around to cruise the Avenue. It might sound old fashioned but I remember it being so much fun! It was on a fun-filled Friday night that I would meet a skinny blond haired kid driving a souped up Chevy! I still can remember the sound of that car; to me it was the coolest sound ever! He and his buddies pulled up next to us, a car full of East Union girls, and asked us if we wanted to race. Well, needless to say, on Pacific Avenue on a Friday night, the cars were bumper to bumper … so of course we weren’t going to race! Gosh, what great memories those happy days were. That was the fall of 1968. That same boy would ask me to marry him that Christmas! I turned 18 in January and with our parents’ blessing we started planning our June wedding; our pathway to a lifetime of happiness! That spring the reality of life set in; my grandad who l was very close to became very ill. I was a senior in high school; I remember the bittersweet nights sitting up with him. He was a rugged old cowboy and a retired state trapper; he never asked for anything. He did share with me how much it would mean to him to see me in my wedding dress on my wedding day. Knowing he probably would not be with us in June, we moved our wedding day to May. We would be married in the little church just a block away from my grandma and grandad’s house! We were married on May 4, 1969. Our wedding day was definitely a team effort. My next door neighbor Charlie, the baker, made us the most beautiful multi-tiered wedding cake; my neighbor Rachel across the street made my bridesmaid dresses! Friends, family, and our entire neighborhood spent days picking sweet smelling roses, carnations and sweet peas from their yards for days before our wedding day. It was a day filled with love and so much joy! My Granddad did see me in my wedding dress. Over the years we had our share of sorrow and heartaches, but for the most part our lives were filled with love, great joy and much thankfulness! This past week my family and I celebrated Richard’s birthday with a German Chocolate cake. This Friday May 14, I will remember the love of that handsome boy that stole my heart away when l was 17! I would like to say ‘Thank You’ once again to each of you who have shown me so much love and kindness over the last five years; you have given me strength! Rest in Heavenly Peace, Richard Mullins ... April 23, 1950 - May 14, 2016. A very special and heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to our first responders!