Bill and Charlene Dial met in 1952 in Tampa at the Coliseum Roller skating rink. They were both 20 years old. The next year, on August 23, they were married at Christ the King Catholic Church in Tampa. They have now rolled through the ups and downs of life together for 70 years.
On August 26, they celebrated their platinum anniversary with over 30 of their friends and family. Their four children, Teresa, Ron, Rick and Steven, were there, along with eight of their nine grandchildren and nine of their 11 great grandchildren.
When asked what marriage advice he would share with others, Bill answered, “When you stand at the altar and make promises, the promises are for forever. You have to honor that promise.”
The Dials have honored their marriage vows and each other throughout a lifetime that included military service and being business owners. Shortly after they were married, Bill was drafted into the Navy. When his duty was over, he returned to work for Sears, Roebuck and Co. at several different stores throughout Tampa. Charlene worked as a secretary at U.S. Plywood.
In 1969, they decided to open a business of their own together. The Dials moved to Brandon in 1975. They operated three retail shops in the bay area until they retired in 2020, the last of which was Ages Art and Frame at the corner of Kings Avenue and Oakfield Drive.
Their children are inspired by them.
“Their work ethic has helped me throughout my career to strive for excellence in all that I do,” Rick said. “Their faith in God inspired me over the years to dig deeper in my faith.”
Ron said, “They gave us sensible guidance, yet usually allowed us the freedom to try new things, even if they knew we might fail. They knew we’d grow from the experience of trying.”
Nowadays, Bill, 90, and Charlene, 91, spend most of their time looking after each other. Charlene shared her key to a happy marriage as this: “Live by the golden rule — treat others as you want to be treated.”