True sweethearts: Grass Valley couple commemorates 70 years of marriage
When a young Dixie Stair walked into the old sweet shop that used to reside on Mill Street in Grass Valley, she didn’t know she would leave with a sweet that would last a lifetime.
For on that fateful day in 1946 she met Lloyd Olsen. They would marry in 1948, and 70 years later the two are still going strong.
Surrounded by friends and family, the Olsens celebrated their platinum anniversary in June at, appropriately, the Love Building in Condon Park.
Their two children, Melvin and Ernie, were there to fete their parents as were the couple’s grandchildren, Matthew and Sarah, and step-grandchildren, Aaron and Shane.
“I’m waiting,” Dixie said in regards to becoming a great-grandmother, “and I’m hinting.”
Over the years, the Olsens found themselves holding a number of occupations. When they met, Lloyd — now 91, and “a man of few words” according to his wife — had just returned from serving in the Navy. He went on to pump gas at the old Richfield station, then on to Riebe’s Auto Parts, where their son Ernie is now a machinist.
Dixie worked for Conway’s grocery, then Safeway, where she was employed for 25 years before retiring. After she retired she started a house cleaning business with her sister, Daisy Stanton of Nevada City.
The Olsens still live in the same Grass Valley house they built in 1958, their spacious garden being featured on the Soroptomist of the Sierras Garden Tour. Nearly every room in their home is dedicated to their family, with photos and mementos exhibiting seven decades of happy memories.
“Family is everything,” Dixie said.
The two were longtime active members of the Grass Valley Sportsmen Club, and remain devoted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dixie is an accomplished artist, and Lloyd remains interested in stone masonry, proudly showing off the hearth and walls he constructed in their home. Once an avid hunter, his den walls display numerous mounted deer and fish.
Born in Utah, Dixie moved to Nevada County when she was 16. Lloyd, a lifelong Nevada County resident, was born in a house on Brighton Street, where his son now resides.
“Nevada County, to me, is very similar in feeling to the town I grew up in in Utah,” Dixie said. “It’s the same friendly, know-your-neighbors, warm toasty feeling. It’s been a nice place to live and a nice place to raise children because you knew, basically, where they were all the time.”
Reflecting on their many years together, Dixie Olsen, now 89, said that one of the keys to her happy marriage has been a willingness to compromise.
“Don’t try to outdo your spouse because you’ve got to come to a compromise,” Dixie said. “You don’t always get your way. Try to compromise because you can’t be right all the time and you can’t be wrong all the time.”
Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-477-4231.
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