Erikson-KujalaMargaret Schnabel Erickson and Norman Kujala, both of Elma, Wash., exchanged wedding vows July 12, 2003 at the Benjamin Young Inn in Astoria.
The bride and groom were both born and raised in Painesdale, Mich., as children of first-generation immigrants. They became schoolmates and friends, but lost contact when Kujala moved to Astoria in 1943 at the age of 17.
Kujala was drafted into the Army and served as a sergeant in the Corps of Engineers. Erikson moved to Washington, married and started a family. Upon his discharge, Kujala also married and settled in Houghton, Mich.
Kujala's wife died in 1995. In 1998 he happened to read a newspaper obituary for Erikson's husband.
The couple reunited after 60 years in the summer of 2001, when Kujala attended a family reunion in Washington. They began to call, write and exchange pictures, getting to know each other all over again for more than a year. Both made trips to visit each other and ended up falling in love, said Kujala's sister, Peggy Olson of Astoria.
Forty-nine relatives and one Army buddy attended the wedding. The bride and groom, both retired, enjoy traveling and studying family