Sweet On You
Residents Share Their Love Story with the Tribune

They met at a Methodist Church youth group in Fargo, North Dakota, and according to Nita, “it clicked.” Seventy-five years later, they’re still happily together. 

Dean and Juanita (Nita) McKee, residents of GreenFields of Geneva, started dating in 1949 when Nita had graduated high school and was working, and Dean was a college student. “We started going on outings with the youth group. I remember we went on a hayride, and it was 20 degrees below zero. We did a lot of things together as part of a group, and then we singled each other out,” says Nita.

“I thought she was enjoyable and a fun person to be around. She was beautiful too,” says Dean.

“He was handsome and very outgoing. He was eager to get acquainted with everybody, and I liked that about him. And I could tell he was very smart,” Nita recalls. The couple married in 1951.

Dean’s career in agriculture and economics allowed the couple to travel a lot. “We’ve seen much of Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, we’ve sailed in the Caribbean, the North Sea, and on the Mediterranean, and more,” he says.

Nita says that while their traveling days are over, “we’re completely happy in our home, with our friends, and being near our kids and grandkids. It’s a win-win situation.”

Explaining the happiness and longevity of their marriage, Dean says, “We’re quite compatible. We have common interests, and it just works. Nita adds, “We have had little arguments now and then, but we listened to one another. That’s one of the big things; just listen to what the other person is saying and try to understand why he’s saying it.” Dean quips, “Now it’s a problem because I’m losing my hearing.”


(As the story appears in Chicago Tribune PrimeTIme 2/13/22)