A lot can happen in 70 years.

Since 1943, the world has seen many changes and innovations, but one thing remains constant: George and Hazel Wolf's marriage.

"One thing that's kept us together is that when we had an argument, we passed it before we went to bed at night," Hazel said, while clutching her husband's hand as they sat together on a couch in the living room of their Hopewell Township home. "We tried not to go to bed mad at each other."

George Wolf met his future wife through chance.

"My neighbor invited me to go to the (Pennsylvania) Farm Show and his sister and Hazel were going together to Thompson's Business School, so we picked them up," George said. "That was the first time I met her."

But it wasn't love at first sight.

"It was a date for the two boys together and the two girls together," Hazel said. "We were just companions for the brother and sister."

George and Hazel met in January of 1942, but it wasn't until March that they started dating - and that was only because their friends were playing matchmaker.

"The funny part about it was that the boy's sister kept telling George, 'Hazel wants you to come down and see her sometime,' and her brother was telling me 'George wants to come see you sometime,'" Hazel said. "Neither one of us ever said a word about it; they were playing Cupid."

The couple dated on and off for a few months, Hazel said. Then George popped the question - kind of.

"I didn't know it was coming because he didn't really ask me," Hazel said. "We were riding in the car and he just said 'that's the kind of house we are going to live in one day.' That was enough."

George said he didn't ask Hazel's father for permission to marry his daughter because he was fearful of the answer he'd receive.

"I didn't ask because I was afraid he'd say 'no,' then what would I do?" George said, still holding his wife's hand. "We got married quick because I didn't want her to get away.

Photographs of George and Hazel Wolf, who just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. The photos from left to right were taken in 2002, 1968, and 1943.
Photographs of George and Hazel Wolf, who just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. The photos from left to right were taken in 2002, 1968, and 1943. DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS - KATE PENN (YORK DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS -)
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Hazel And George were married Jan. 22, 1943, in Norrisville, Md. - Hazel had recently turned 18 and George was just shy of his 18th birthday when they took their vows.

"Everyone (in our family) sees this (relationship) as an example," said the Wolfs' youngest daughter, Ginger Babcock. "When you take those vows, it's very serious."

George enlisted in the Army and served from August 1944 until 1946 during World War II, spending most of that time in Germany.

Shortly before George went off to war, the couple welcomed their first child, Jim, in July.

While George was away, Hazel lived with one of her sisters in Red Lion and worked at the Stewartstown Sewing Factory and a five-and-dime store.

When George returned, Hazel became a homemaker - she and George have six children: Jim, Dan, Dave and Steve Wolf and Susan Herbert and Ginger Babcock - and helped on a small farm they purchased.

Later, the couple and their children moved to a Hopewell Township farm owned by Hazel's family - less than a mile from their current home, a ranch-style house atop a hill that they moved into in 1973.

"That was Mom's parents' farm, and Mom's mom's parents' farm, and now Susan's family lives in that house," Babcock said. "It's been around a long time."

Just like George and Hazel's relationship.

The Wolfs credit their time together to perseverance, learning to get along and a little love.

Friends and acquaintenances of George & Hazel Wolf of Stewartstown, PA were invited to an Open House on Sunday, January 20 from 2-5 pm in honor of the
Friends and acquaintenances of George & Hazel Wolf of Stewartstown, PA were invited to an Open House on Sunday, January 20 from 2-5 pm in honor of the Wolf's 70th wedding anniversary. Submitted

"We like each other and we love each other," George said. "I can think of Hazel being a wonderful mate. I'd do it again. It was easy."

Time with Mom and Dad

George and Hazel Wolf said they've had great times together over the past seven decades.

"We were in every state, we were in Europe, we took cruises and traveled to the Caribbean," George said. "We also had a home in Florida; we spent 20 winters there, I suppose."

Hazel recounted driving across the country. She and George drove to California four or five times. They also drove to the West Coast once, loaded their equipment on a boat and went to Alaska.

Some of the most memorable moments were made when traveling as a family, said the Wolfs' daughters, Susan Herbert and Ginger Babcock.

"Because we grew up on a working farm, there was always farm work to do," Herbert said. "A treat for us was going to Wildwood (N.J.). Sometimes we wouldn't know we were going until that morning"

George Wolf said the family had to fit trips in when they could.

"I had to work it in when it suited," he said. "But we didn't miss too many years there."

Babcock said they spent a lot of time on the beach under a yellow umbrella the Wolfs bought for $25 when they grew tired of renting one.

She and Herbert still use the same umbrella, complete with fringe, when they take family trips to the beach.

While Hazel spent her time on the shore, George was charged with teaching the Wolf kids to swim.

"Mom was a real trouper to go, because she doesn't like the water," Babcock said.

Babcock said one of her other favorite memories of her mom was when Hazel taught her how to drive, and Herbert recounted what a good cook Hazel was.

"Her specialty was boiled chicken potpie," Herbert said. "I don't know anyone who could make it better."

Celebrating 70 years

George and Hazel Wolf have a large family: six children, 14 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren - with two more on the way.

As a way to show their love and support for the couple's marriage, the Wolfs' family hosted two anniversary parties in their honor.

At one of the parties, which was the week between Christmas and New Year's, all 54 members of the Wolfs' extended family - some from as far away as San Antonio - attended to offer their congratulations.

More than 100 community and church members attended the second celebration, held earlier this month at George and Hazel's church, Stewartstown Methodist.

"The common thread among the comments (at the party) was how inspiring George and Hazel's relationship is," Susan Herbert said. "It challenges the rest of us to realize that you have to work at your marriage."