Local couple survives three wars, two kids, and 75 years of marriage

A couple from Halawa is celebrating 75 years of marriage, and looking back at their decades of memories.

In 1942, the U.S. was in the middle of World War II, Hawaii was still a territory, and on Dec. 12, Sterling Cale married Victoria Ventula.

“He was good-looking when he was young,” Victoria said.

“I went over to Kawaiahao Church, where the kings and queens get married, and I said to the father there, and he said, ‘Sure, you can get married here. You got 50 bucks?’ Fifty bucks? That’s two months salary!” Sterling said with a laugh.

Sterling managed to get the $50. The couple got married and had two kids.

But like all marriages, they’ve had their ups and downs. Sterling was in the military. He fought in World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars, so he was gone a lot.

“It was a lifelong battle,” Victoria admitted. “I don’t think another person would like to, went to the way I went. It was so lonely waiting for him, waiting for him, trying to get back home.”

But as they say, the best things in life are worth the wait, and it’s the little things that make a big difference.

“When you take your vow, you know, till death do you part,” Victoria said. “He gets my breakfast every morning. Every time he’s home, he does cooking.”

Sterling still keeps busy, volunteering at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, where his book is also sold.

“When I go down to the Arizona Memorial, they tell me, ‘You look just like the picture on your book,’ and I’m like, ‘What? I was only 19 then,” he said with a laugh.

Both say a sense of humor is important.

“Once in a while we kiss,” Victoria added.

“Once in a while?!” Sterling exclaimed. “Wow, I’ll have to remember that.”

Sterling survived the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the couple just renewed their vows on the USS Arizona Memorial.

“I got her, and I’m going to keep her just as long as I can,” Sterling said. “God bless her, and I love her.”

“I’m hoping forever,” Victoria added. “Not hoping. I know it’s forever.”

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