Faith, balance key to 62 years of marriage


By Ann Marie Shambaugh

Most guys who attempted to kiss Virginia ended up looking at the back of her head. But that all changed one fateful day when Don Lassen wandered into her Baptist church. Immediately, Virginia knew there was something special about this young man, and they soon began dating.

“I didn’t want to be kissed, but I was waiting around for [Don] to get around to kissing me,” she said. “I knew this was different. This was right.”

Six dates later that first kiss finally happened, and two years later they were married in their home state of Michigan. And now, after more than 62 years of marriage, the Zionsville residents are still as in love as ever.

“We can’t imagine life without each other,” said Virginia Lassen, 84.

Don, 88, felt just as strongly that something was different about Virginia shortly after meeting her.

“She was not like the other girls,” said Don, a World War II Navy veteran. “She was someone I could trust and be happy with.”

The couple has lived in Zionsville Meadows since last year and spent many decades in the town before that. They moved to Indiana, where they raised their two adopted daughters, after the GM plant that employed Don in Michigan shut down.

After 62 years of marriage that’s still going strong, the Lassens say that their faith in God has been the biggest secret to their success. They also say that their opposing personalities – Virginia is outgoing and optimistic; Don reserved and more realistic – brings an important balance to their relationship.

And every night, the couple ends the day with seven kisses and a goodnight prayer by the side of the bed. Then Don tucks Virginia in and joins her.

“This is my favorite time of the day, because we’re together for the rest of the night,” Virginia said. “Nothing is going to separate us.”

Wherever they’ve lived, the Lassens feel they’ve been extremely blessed – despite an episode of cancer and an accident with a saw that nearly cost Virginia her life – because they’ve always had each other.

“By the world’s standard we’re poor, but by our standard, we’re rich,” Virginia said. “We’ve got our health. We’ve got [our faith in]God. We’ve got a good marriage. What more could you want?”