This past Sunday marked a milestone for Caroline and Miles Winchester, as they reached 50 years as husband and wife.
Caroline noted the two met at a soccer game in Washington, D.C., through a high school friend who was dating one of the members of Miles’ Air Force division. Miles, she noted, was at Fort Belvoir at the time.
As to her first impressions, Caroline said she felt very comfortable around the man she met that summer of 1970 and would later marry June 18, 1972. “We were married on Father’s Day,” she said. “For some reason, my mother wanted a wedding on a Sunday.”
The two were married in Germantown, Md., a community which Caroline described as rural at that time, but it has since developed as part of the metropolitan complex in D.C.
As to how she came to find herself in Nebraska, Caroline said, “he imported me.” Miles was born and raised in Ord — and they still own the farm there. In the height of the Vietnam era, following his graduation, he was told by a Draft Board member that he would’ve been gone if there was a draft. Instead, Miles volunteered for the Air Force.
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Miles’ division was transferred to Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, along with Caroline. She noted someone wanted to the building the unit was using at Fort Belvoir, resulting in the move. The service then offered Miles an “early out” since there were more soldiers than what was needed, allowing the couple to move back to Ord.
Caroline was teaching at Wolbach, Neb., but went quickly from the classroom to being superintendent.
“I was working on my specialist degree at the time,” Caroline said, “and there were two classes I needed that came up. We didn’t have distance learning like we do now, so I had to drive to Kearney to take those two classes.” She told Miles she couldn’t teach full-time while taking the classes, and he stepped up to drive her so she could work on the road.
“Because of that, I was over halfway through on my specialist degree when the superintendent at Wolbach left. Board members and fellow teachers encouraged me to apply [for the superintendent position.]”
Caroline also worked a Loop City. Her first teaching job was there, and 30 years later her former students — now on the school board — hired her as the superintendent. She then became the Chadron Public Schools Superintendent in 2010 and retired in June of 2020.
The Winchesters have two sons — Lee and Will — and six grandchildren. “That’s why the [anniversary] celebration is in the shed and not the house,” she said with a laugh.
As for insights she’s gained in 50 years of marriage, Caroline said, “It’s by God’s grace, and the good lord has blessed us so much. He brought us together, and things have been good.” She further quoted the Song of Solomon’s “He’s my lover and my best friend.” Some words of wisdom from her grandmother came from Ephesians, that being to not go to bed angry.
“Scripture talks about three kinds of love. There’s Philia love, a friendship kind of love. There’s Eros, which is an emotional type of love. Then there’s Agape love, which the Lord has for us. You love somebody because it’s what you decide to do . . . I think a good marriage involves all three.”