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WYSO, the Dayton Metro Library and local social service agency, Rebuilding Together Dayton, have come together for a very special project. We’ve gathered the memories and wise words of Dayton’s elders for Senior Voices, a new series that is airing throughout 2018. We present them to you in honor of the life experiences and wisdom of Dayton elders.

Senior Voices: Marilyn Nagle

Marilyn Nagle
Senior Voices

Today on Senior Voices, we meet Dayton native Marilyn Nagle. Last fall, she shared her rather unusual courtship story with Dayton Metro Library volunteer interviewer Linda Pitzer.


Marilyn Nagle (MN): My name is Marilyn Nagle. I was born in Dayton, Ohio at Good Samaritan Hospital on July 16th, 1933. And lived in Dayton all my life. My family goes back to the middle of the 1800s, from living in the Dayton and Minster area.

I started at the police department out of high school and, uh, started in the records section of the detectives section and moved up to the auto recovery detectives who worked on stolen automobiles. And, um, just had a wonderful experience, it was a great 5 years up until Dan and I got married.

When we met in high school, we met when I was a junior in high school, and he was a senior in high school. And, this is a story I tell all the time, we started dating New Year’s Eve and dated until April when he took me to the prom. And then, he didn’t call me again. And so he didn’t call me in 4 years almost to the day later because he had tickets to a play and he knew how much I loved plays. And we went to see “The King and I” with Yul Brynner. And then, that was the beginning of our second courtship. And that’s lasted for 61 years.

Dan just had such a magnetic personality, I guess you would say, and he was one of those who kind of… kind of overwhelmed you in everything he did.

So,  he wasn’t a big spender at the time because he didn’t have any money. Oh and then the next time he took me out to a cemetery, and it was a very interesting cemetery and then we walked all around the cemetery, and he found a flat area… it wasn’t a gravestone, but was a big flat area. And he turned the radio up and turned the music on and we danced… on the… out in the cemetery. 

Linda Pitzer (LP): Well, do you have any advice for young couples?

MN: I think my biggest advice would be, from the very beginning you need to practice patience, you need to think about the other person as much or more than you think about yourself, you need to be willing to compromise, and to always remember that this is a commitment that you made and that you do everything you can to make it happen and make it happy.

This interview was edited by Community Voices producer William Brown. Senior Voices is a collaboration between the Dayton Metro Library, Rebuilding Together Dayton, and WYSO. This series is made possible through the generous support of the Del Mar Healthcare Fund of the Dayton Foundation.