A special Valentine's Day gift last nearly a lifetime

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. (WTRF) - Valentine's Day is a holiday that often means cards, chocolates, and flowers. But have you ever kept a card someone special gave you?

One Moundsville woman has done just that for 75 years!

For many people 1943 is remembered only as a time of war in our nations history. But for Ruth Utter, now Hinerman, 1943 was when she received her most valued Valentine's Day gift from her best friend Doris Jean Hunt, now Schwing, in the 1st grade.

"The teacher was kind of pulling the valentine's out, and she pulled this great big valentine out, it was in an envelope," said Ruth. "I thought to myself 'Oh, I hope that's mine but I know it's not,' and here it was."

For the young girl who grew up on her families farm during the height of World War II, she didn't get much. But this card from her best friend means more than just Valentine's Day.

"It represents the friendship of Doris Jean," Ruth said. "We've been friends since the very first day of school, and here we are pretty old ladies now and we're still friends."

The two best friends have stayed close since their time at Clay Elementary School. Even through rough times and moves the card Doris Jean gave Ruth always stayed with her. A surprise Jean was happy to hear.

"I couldn't believe it meant that much and she'd kept it that long," said Jean. "So, it's been one of those things that kind of bonded us together."

Of the 75 years Ruth's held on to the gift, it was 63 years in when she decided to bring the card to church and tell Doris Jean.

"After I had it so many years, then I just couldn't bare to let lose of it," Ruth said.

"It's a great feeling to know someone thought that much of me to keep something that long," said Doris Jean. "That's unreal."

Even though they have new valentine's now, it's become a tradition for Doris Jean to give Ruth a card every year.

The connection the two women hold, and the representation the card has for them has also been a great example for their children on how valuable friendship truly is.

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