Meet Valley VNA resident, Marian! She was born and raised in Grand Chute, Wisconsin. She has two daughters and four grandchildren. One grandchild is an architect, another a business owner and two are finishing college. While she enjoys spending time with her family, there’s one member who isn’t blood related that she spends a lot of time communicating with: her pen pal of 80 years, Joan!

When Marian was 10 years old, her family received a pen pal pamphlet. The pamphlet listed names and addresses of people around the world who wanted a pen pal. Marian wanted to try it out, so she responded and sent a letter to Joan in California.

For the next 80 years, they exchanged letters weekly, talking about their families, school and everything happening in their lives. A tight bond was formed, keeping up with growing up and starting their own family. In the most recent years, Marian and Joan lost touch in their letters.  Joans grandson did some searching on-line and was able to locate Marian. For the first time in 80 years, they were able to speak to each other on the phone!

Having never met in person, their closest encounter was many years ago. Joan was in Chicago, and called Marian who was out of state and didn’t get the chance to meet her friend face to face.

When Marian was asked how she would react if she ever got to meet Joan, she said, “I would be absolutely stunned.”

What do you think of Marian’s story? What is the first thing you would say to a pen pal of 80 years?