June wedding memories blossom for residents at Deupree House

June Sciarra stands next to her wedding photo, part of a resident wedding photo display now hanging at Deupree House.

I couldn’t help noticing the smile that swept across June Sciarra’s face as she gazed upon her wedding photo among the many resident wedding photos now being displayed at Deupree House.

“Not a hard one to pick out,” Mrs. Sciarra said. “I’m the only one not wearing a wedding dress.”

Not that Mrs. Sciarra never had designs on wearing a beautiful dress. It was just that her then h

usband-to-be, Ivo, had joined the military during World War II and was shipping out to Europe within days of their decision to marry. There was no time for planning the whole kit and caboodle. She smiled again.

“So much to do, so little time,” she said.

So after a quick round of the required blood tests and her parents signing to allow the marriage (she was just 18 years old at the time), Mrs. Sciarra said they went to a pastor’s home for a short ceremony. Within three days, Ivo was off to war.

He didn’t return for two years.

“He was part of the Battle of the Bulge,” Mrs. Sciarra noted as she recalled the American offensive against Hitler in December 1944. “The whole war experience definitely left him with some very vivid memories, but this was especially moving for him.”

Mrs. Sciarra had known Ivo for awhile. She had met him at a party. She was in high school and he was in college at the time. “Probably not a big thing now, but then … oh, yes!” she said smiling.

After the war ended in Europe, Mrs. Sciarra said Ivo stayed to do war crimes work, helping to identifying the bodies of Jewish prisoners who had died in work camps. He went into the jewelry business when he came home.

“I went alone to the train station that day (that he came home,” Mrs. Sciarra said. “I worried I wouldn’t recognize him. He hadn’t sent any pictures while he was over there. But I knew him instantly when he got off the train.”

Looking over the photo array, Mrs. Sciarra said there is one thing that unites them all. “Such joy on our faces!” she said. “You can’t mistake that at all!”

What memories do your parents share that bring the same kind of joy?

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