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Mary and George:Still dancing after 60 years

February 02, 2011 - On a late summer evening in 1950, at a club called Knickerbockers in Flint, George Yancho asked Mary Christoph to dance.

The song was the Blue Skirt Waltz, and she happened to be wearing a blue dress. They danced most of the rest of that night, and many nights after. He worked nights and she worked days, but he called her every day. Six months after their first dance, on Feb. 3, 1951, they were married at the Sacred Heart Church in Flint. The Polish wedding was attended by approximately 250 people, and the bride and groom's first dance as a married couple was, of course, the Blue Skirt Waltz.

Last weekend, Mary and George Yancho celebrated their 60th anniversary.

"It's really been great," said Mary. "I tell my grandchildren, you don't go to bed mad and you don't get excited over the little things. One of the things I like about being married so long is setting an example for my children and grandchildren, to love one another and be kind."

The Yanchos have four children, Michael (Libby) of Grand Blanc, Dennis (Mari) of Atlas Township, George (Elaine) of Montana, and Lynn (Jim) Lusty of Atlas Township. They are also blessed with 10 grandchildren and three great-granddaughters.

George and Mary lived in Flint for the first 12 years of their marriage, then moved to an 80-acre farm in Grand Blanc in 1963, where they raised cows, pigs, corn, and wheat before turning it into the Trim Pines Christmas Tree Farm in the early '70s. George Yancho also worked for General Motors for 40 years and retired in the early '80s. In 2001, the couple moved to Atlas Township.

George's advice for a long and happy marriage?

"Just don't get in arguments and agree with each other," he said. "Anything comes up, you work it out. Take one day at a time and pray together. We make sure we are together whereever we go. We're proud of the family we've built together. All the challenges we had, we had accomplishments, too, and that helps us to enjoy life."

Through the years, dancing has been part of that enjoyment of life. A medical problem for George last year slowed the dancing, but at their anniversary party last Sunday, a familiar song played. It was the Blue Skirt Waltz and once again Mary and George Yancho, lifelong partners, danced.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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