By: Ashley Strehl - Managing Editor of Digital and Print Publications
Did you know that at one time, flight attendants couldn’t be married or get married? It wasn’t until 1968 that federal courts did away with rules that forbid flight attendants from being married.
However, in the late 1950s, Kathryn Spurlock was faced with a choice: she could continue flying as a stewardess for Braniff Airlines in Oklahoma, or marry the love of her life and serviceman, Monty Stricker. Going with the latter, Monty and Kathryn married on a November Fall day in the late 1950's, early 60s.
According to the couple's daughter, Kathy Wood, her mother met Monty while she was dating his best friend at the time, and was sure that her connection with Monty was what she wanted instead. “At the time, since you couldn’t be a stewardess and be married, my dad, in a way, gave her an ultimatum,” Wood said. “He told her she could either continue flying, or start a life with him.”
After retiring from the service, Monty got a job as an assembly line worker, and studied at The University of Tulsa before pursuing a career in real estate. Kathryn shifted her career path towards the oil field, where she acted as a secretary. In 1969, the couple had their first child, and gave him the generational name of Monty. In 1973, they had their daughter, Kathy.
Wood said that for her, the most admirable thing about her parents while she was growing up was that while they mostly kept busy with their work to support the family, it never took away from their duties and love as parents. “My brother and I were very loved, and my parents always made stuff happen for us, no matter what.” Wood said. “My Mom has always been my best friend.”
Wood said that her fondest memories with her parents while growing up are when they would go on family vacations, specifically Disney World and the Grand Canyon. She also recalled how supportive they both were of her while she participated in extra-curricular activities throughout school, “I was a baton twirler, and my mom was my biggest fan,” Wood said.
Wood also noted that the two have also been wonderful grandparents to their two granddaughters and two grandsons, “My mom was a huge help in taking care of all three of my kids for the first year of their life,” Wood said.
Now married for 65+ years, the Stricker's comfortably reside at Edmond Health Care Center, where they are now more inseparable than ever.
Healthcare team members say that the couple are often sitting next to each other while holding hands. “Monty is so nurturing of Betty, even when she has trouble remembering,” EHCC Life Enrichment Director, Julie Ford, said. “They even have little meal dates where he tells her they are eating at her favorite place. Love truly conquers all, and it has prevailed relational longevity over this beautiful couple.”