His Life

This was a letter written to John Jr, Leigh, Julie & Brian on John & Sharel’s 50th Anniversary

John & Sharel Dyer – August 15, 1964

Starting Point: Kankakee, Illinois 1963 – Olivet Nazarene University

JOHN HOWARD DYER: We first met getting our mail at the college post office. I would make brief comments about the weather, “Nice Day”. She would smile at me and keep on walking. I guess the attraction wasn’t instant for her. I remember one day looking at her as she walked across campus. Her hair was long and pulled up in a French Twist. She wore a green skirt, blouse and flats. I was instantly attracted. My dorm room was on the second floor, room 203, above the post office. Going to lunch with my roommate, Wesley, I said: “Wesley, you see that girl coming out of the post office?” “Yeah” he said. I said “I wouldn’t be surprised if I married her.” “What?” he said. “What’s her name?” My response: “I don’t know, but there’s just something about her.” Wes said: “Man- you’re nuts. You’ve only been here 3 weeks.”

SHAREL TRUE GOODMAN: I remember seeing him on campus carrying a large brown leather briefcase and saying “Hi!” to just about everyone he met. That may have taken these snobby college preppies off guard as they were trying to walk across campus looking “cool”. It got my attention. He tells me for him it was “love at first sight”. For me, it was flattery, but not so sure. Things were complicated because I had a guy back home. I wasn’t prepared for Kansas to come into my life. When he smiled the dimples on each side of his cheek popped. WOW – So cute! His clothes were not in style with the required button-down collar and the ivy-league look, but he didn’t care. I think as we got to know each other, that’s when I realized more and more…this guy was the real thing. No pretense. No snobbery. He was John Dyer from Great Bend, Kansas. He took you just as you were and this was the real him. It started to click for us.

There were a few bumps along the way: the guy back home; John’s family freaking out about how serious we were becoming; our youth and having little money ($175 to start our life together). But upon return from Christmas break,Kansas and Michigan were merging. We were only 18. Not a care in the world. Love would concur all. We were married August 15, 1964 after our Freshman year in Detroit, Michigan.

REFLECTION: Marriage can be a fulfilling part of your life with the sharing, giving and loving. It’s truly great to have a friend and partner who understands and accepts most of the quirks about you. With marriage you commit to being “all in” even during those inevitable times that bring out anger, frustration and selfishness. A good marriage is a process of maturing. For us, it only came with our original love for each other and our faith in Jesus. It’s messy. It’s hard. But so are all relationships. Love is never stagnant. Love alone does not concur all. Sometimes it’s faith, sheer determination to get through this; holding on to the vows made; looking at others who have not made it and others who have. It’s always a choice. After 50 years, even after 10 years, you will not be the exact same person. Don’t take each other for granted. The goal is to grow together rather than apart.

I still love him. He still loves me. We made it to 50.

FOR OUR CHILDREN AND WHOEVER READS THIS: This is our story. Yours will be different. That’s okay. You are going to face things in your life different from ours. We truly believe that the principles of love in the Bible are an essential ingredient to marriage. We wish for you to be kind to one another, love one another, forgive on another and do more for the other than they do for you – no matter how many years you share your lives together.
I Corinthians 13:4-7

With all our love – Mom & Dad