Harold and Jinks Vachal celebrated 70 years of marriage Sept. 30 with an open house at Eidsvold Lutheran Church in Somers. Granddaughter Danna (Vachal) Gonzalez wore her grandmother’s wedding dress, which was also worn by daughter Suzi, friend Velma (Seney) Heinrichsen, and goddaughter Rose (Rogge) Bjornstad for their weddings, and the veil was worn by niece Karen (Seney) Adams for hers. Granddaughter Amy (Vachal) Wambach modeled it for the Vachals’ 50th anniversary.
The couple cut a wedding cake topped with their original bride and groom topper. After the celebration, 35 family members, including Harold’s sister Doris, many cousins, nieces and nephews, gathered at the home of their daughter and son-in-law.
While Harold was with the Army Combat Engineers overseas during World War II, he wrote letters to Eila Mae “Jinks” Jennings in Minot, North Dakota. After he was discharged, they were married Sept. 28, 1947, at St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Minot. The newlyweds settled in the Flathead Valley where Harold’s sister Doris Seney lived.
The couple still live in the home they built in 1960 on Flathead Lake.
Harold worked at Lee Craft Marine, later for Monarch Lumber Co., and then partnered with Don Fry to own and operate The Cabinet Shop in Kalispell until he retired in 1984.
Jinks has always been known for providing food and support for friends and neighbors during difficult times, for her Christmas bread and warm hospitality.
The couple has been active at Eidsvold since 1954. They helped to build the “new” church, and Harold designed and built the chancel furniture. Jinks is a member of the weekly prayer group and was a Cover Girls Quilter. Harold still ushers.
Their children are Suzi and Jack Watteyne, and Dan and Jan Vachal; grandchildren, Cody and Renee Jones, Danna and Claudio Gonzalez, Amy and Chad Wambach, and JoeE and Christina Vachal; and great-grandchildren, Clara and Joel Jones, Bryton and Kaden Wambach, and Jenavieve, Jasper and Brandi Vachal.