Emily and Robert Guion of Bowling Green, who have been married for 63 years, have for years helped with the Wheeled Meals program at Wood County Hospital. Their family is also known for candy gifts.
Now 89, Mrs. Guion still seems a bit embarrassed by the gesture. She didn't know that Carolyn Guion had started making candy at home years before and had become the chief candy maker for a chain of candy and nut stores in Fort Wayne, Ind.
After Emily married Robert Guion the next year, she learned the art of candy-making from her mother-in-law, and for years the Bowling Green couple and their family have made 200 or so pounds of candy every November, which they give away to neighbors, friends, and others who have done them a good turn.
"My mother made candy for Christmas presents and sold it during the Depression," Mr. Guion, 86, recalled. "This led to a vow that our family never would sell our candy again."
Robert and Emily Guion are among 22 couples from across Ohio who are to be recognized tomorrow by First Lady Karen Waldbillig Kasich and the Ohio Department of Aging for their dedication both to their marriages and volunteering in their communities. Called "Joined Hearts in Giving," the 12th annual event celebrates Ohioans who are at least 60 and married 40 years or longer.
The Guions have been married 63 years.
Walter and Carol Tylicki of Point Place, also among the couples being recognized, will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary on Saturday.
Carol and Walter Tylicki of Point Place, who will celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary on Saturday, are involved with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, United Way, and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
"We were retired about a year when I told him, 'I'm going to volunteer. If you want to come, you can,'" Mrs. Tylicki recalled.
She contacted the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio, where they both got involved with the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). Among the "jobs" she has is helping seniors work their way through Medicare and other benefit programs.
Mr. Tylicki coordinates transportation and parking for Senior Day expos sponsored by the Office on Aging, and both volunteer with United Way and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Mr. Tylicki helped set up the volunteer reception center in Fulton County after last year's tornadoes.
Helping people is what motivates the couple, who have three grown sons and seven grandchildren.
"We wanted to help. We wanted to do something challenging to ourselves," Mrs. Tylicki said. "And for events like [the July 4 weekend] 'Red, White, KABOOM' we can pull our children and grandchildren in too."
Passing on the community-service tradition is important to the Guions, who said their five children and nine grandchildren all make and share candy.
The Guions moved to Bowling Green in 1952 after Mr. Guion, an industrial psychologist, finished his doctoral degree at Purdue University and took a teaching job at Bowling Green State University. For years, they invited international students to their home for dinner and games.
For many of those years, Mrs. Guion taught candy-making at her home, and she still solicits orders for bulk chocolate -- dark, milk, and white -- from her former students for the holiday candy-making season. They make toffee, peanut brittle, every conceivable type of fudge, and dipped chocolates -- orange macadamia caramels in white chocolate being one of their specialties.
"We keep thinking it's time to quit, but we're ready to go every fall," Mrs. Guion said.
The energetic couple have for years helped with the Wheeled Meals program at Wood County Hospital, which takes meals and grocery staples to older adults, many of whom may have just been discharged from the hospital after surgery or who are on special diets.
"I think we do more for ourselves than for other people when we're delivering meals because these people become friends," Mr. Guion said.
His wife said she wouldn't think of stopping her volunteer work.
"I think everybody gets up in the morning and wants to look forward to something more than 'I can start another book' or sleep until noon,'" she said. "I don't want to do that."
Both couples said keeping busy and doing things is good for them personally and as married couples.
Asked what has kept them together for nearly 45 years, Mrs. Tylicki said with a knowing look, "Patience, patience, patience."
"You've got to like each other," her husband added.
"That's true," Mrs. Tylicki said. "We were friends before we dated, and I think that means a lot."
As for the Guions, who have almost two more decades of marriage behind them than the Tylickis, Mrs. Guion thought just a moment before answering.
"You put the other one first, and when you do that, you're first too," she said, before turning to her husband. "Would you agree with that?"
"Certainly," he said with a grin.
Contact Jennifer Feehan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6129.