Valentine’s Day Love Story


In 2015 it’s a rare to find a marriage that spans 10 years. But somehow in our evolving fast paced World Dr. Willis Allen and Vivian Norton Allen of South Florida managed to stay married for 50 long and happy years.

Fifty years. That’s five decades and five unique generations.

Arguably – no doubt they saw and experienced a lot. In fact, Vivian Norton was a teacher in Maine when she decided she wanted to join the American Red Cross to help the WWII efforts. She was sent to run a Service Club in England and was soon after transferred to Germany. She couldn’t have known it at the time, but as faith would have it her soon-to-be life partner Willis Allen, son of migrant farmers, was completing his medical degree in California when he began his tour of duty. Willis was stationed in Germany.

It’s a funny story how they met.  Being a California boy moving to Germany, that tropical uniform he used in the Sunshine State just wouldn’t cut it. So as the story goes, for supplies and a new uniform Willis went to the Red Cross Service Club. That is where he met Vivian. As you might imagine, the two began a beautiful friendship that soon bloomed into a romance. In 1949, Willis was sent back to America. Back then to stay in touch folks would put their pen to paper and allow their thoughts to flow in a handwritten letter. Although Vivian remained in Europe, Willis proposed to her in a love letter. She said yes, and in 1951 returned to America to be with her true love. The two were married on December 7th, 1952. It’s fair to say the Red Cross brought them together and helped to pollinate their relationship. What’s more — their four children have followed in their mother’s footsteps and actively support the American Red Cross.

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