In June 1979, Lori and Sherry Flavel descended parallel staircases in the Kuna United Methodist Church to meet their high school sweethearts, David Doan and Randy Wolske, who were waiting for them at the altar. This year, the two couples are celebrating their 40th year of marriage.
The couples shared a joint wedding, and the pastor alternated between the two couples throughout the ceremony. One pair would say their vows, then the other. One couple said, ‘I do,’ then the other did the same. Together, they lit a unity candle that marked the start of their 40-year-long partnerships.
Both David and Randy were born and raised in Kuna, and the two sisters moved to town in 1970 from Jerome, Idaho. Lori met her husband, David, when she was a freshman and he was a senior in high school. They were instantly smitten. Sherry met her husband, Randy, in fifth grade, when boys still had cooties and he and his friends would tease Sherry and hers. They didn’t start dating until high school.
The two couples have moved through life in much the same way as each other; they both have three kids, two of whom were born just five days apart, and two of whom were born six months apart. Lori and David are parents to Sarah, Samantha, Samson and Samuel, who passed away as a young child. Randy and Sherry are parents to Misty, Jeremiah and Jacob.
All of their children went to the same schools as they did — they even had some of the same teachers — and they all graduated from Kuna High School.
They all said that some of their favorite memories are of watching their children grow up, and being a part of their lives — from the chaotic younger years of flushing toys down the toilet, to the dramatic teenage years. Though it wasn’t always easy, it was always worth it.
“Life just throws you so many curveballs when you have kids,” David Doan said. “When it goes smooth, it’s fantastic. But when it goes bad, it goes bad really fast. Then the next day everything’s okay. You just have to go, ‘Well, today’s bad, but maybe tomorrow will be good.’ And then hope for that.”
Now that their kids are grown and have their own children, the couples both said they get to derive the same joy from their grandchildren, whom they called a blessing. Lori and David Doan have a total of eight grandkids; Sherry and Randy Wolske have five.
For the two couples, life in Kuna has changed as much as their own lives have.
Together they reflected on when Kuna was home to only a few hundred people, and when fields outnumbered subdivisions. Randy recalled riding his horse into town, a sight not often seen in 2019. They all laughed as they remembered how everyone’s families knew each other, and how their parents would know what they did that day before they even got home from school, as neighbors, teachers and shop owners would call them to let them know.
They plan on sticking around at least until they retire and maybe longer than that.
“I don’t know if it’s good that you get stuck, but then again, it’s comforting to know where you’re going. Maybe that’s why we lasted as long as we did. Even though maybe we’re not perfect, we’re comfortable where we’re at with each other. I don’t know, I kind of like her sometimes. Sometimes I don’t,” David Doan said with a laugh. “But it’s always nice to come home and see her smile.”
Lori said that David helps keep their home up, cooks, does the laundry and rubs her feet when she needs it. He’s faithful, she said, and is determined to make things happen. Even though he technically retired five years ago, he still works unloading boxes for the UPS. As for David, he sees in Lori what every man should after four decades of marriage.
“She’s still the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Sherry Wolske reflected on her marriage with the same kind of fondness, looking over at her husband as she spoke.
“I love the fact that I know no matter what, my husband is always there. He will support me in most everything that I do, and he loves me unconditionally — even though sometimes he doesn’t show it,” Sherry said, prompting an “I love you, honey” and a quick hug from Randy.
To Randy, what he loves about Sherry is simple. It’s everything about her.
Over the past 40 years, as with any marriage, it hasn’t been perfect for either pair. To make it work, Sherry said it’s important to talk things through, and that both people in the relationship have to do what it takes to make it work. Both couples are Christian, and Lori credited God with helping them get through the good times and the bad.
David said the same, and acknowledged that on the good days, they can smile and look back on the bad days they had to overcome to get there.
“If you didn’t have a bad day,” David said, “you wouldn’t know what a good day was.”