Drive-in blinddate turns into 70-year marriage


“Hand in hand they’ll walk through that door, just living on love,” Alan Jackson sang in his 1994 hit “Livin’ on Love.”

According to Tom and Jeanne Boyle’s oldest daughter, Carol Gustin, the romance between 24-year-old Tom Boyle and 20-year-old Jeanne Murray began a little over seven decades ago on a blind date because her father had a car.

“Dad grew up in Hillsboro and Mom came from the Wilmington area, but her cousins, Bob and Duane Miller, were in Hillsboro,” she said. “Bob had a girlfriend named Marlene he wanted to go out with, and since Dad had a car, fixed him up on a blind date because they wanted him to drive.”

It was the fall of 1948, and Boyle was fresh out of the Navy, having seen action on a ship during World War II. Everybody piled into the car and set off for a drive-in movie in Wilmington.

What was showing that night is lost to history, but Murray, the brunette who was home from a Columbus secretarial college stole Boyle’s heart, and by Christmas she had an engagement ring on her finger.

Sixteen months later, on April 16, 1950, they were married and “took up housekeeping” in a home in Hillsboro.

By the time she was 6 years old, Carol said the couple moved to their present home near Highland where they’ve lived for almost 48 years.

Highland County residents probably remember Tom Boyle as the former manager of the Federal Land Bank Association, Gustin said, making loans to farmers in Highland and five other neighboring counties.

The couple possessed a selfless love, and though they already had children of their own, they opened their home to an 18-year-old boy named Tom Rudisell, whom life had dealt a double blow.

“When Rudy, that was Tom’s nickname, was 18, his father died of cancer in the spring,” Gustin said. “Then his mother was hit and killed by a drunk driver that summer, so he lost both parents in the blink of an eye.”

She said that Rudisell was a close friend of her older brother Mike, and one day asked if he could come and live with the Boyle’s.

“He’s been my brother ever since,” Gustin said.

Carol’s husband, Dave Gustin, recalled growing up without a father, and said his wife’s father later became both a father and mentor to him.

“He was a great example of what men used to be,” Dave Gustin said.

Today, the Boyles make their home in what Carol affectionately called “Cobbtown,” on SR 72 just across the railroad tracks south of Highland.

To commemorate their 70th anniversary, she said her daughter was decorating big stone pots that are on the Boyle’s front porch with flowers and placing signs in the yard, hoping that friends of the couple will blow their horns as they drive by.

Social distancing is a must because of the pandemic, Carol said, and would be enforced by Highland County Health Commissioner Jared Warner, who just happens to be married to her niece.

“He’s already texted me and said ‘Carol Lynn, you are not to let people go in,’” Carol said. “So we’d like to request a card shower for them.”

Cards from well-wishers can be addressed to Tom and Jeanne Boyle, 11881 SR 72, Leesburg, Ohio 45135.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.

Tom and Jeanne Boyle are pictured as newlyweds in 1950. and Jeanne Boyle are pictured as newlyweds in 1950. Courtesy photo

Highland residents Tom and Jeanne Boyle are shown in a recent picture. residents Tom and Jeanne Boyle are shown in a recent picture. Courtesy photo
Boyles were married April 16, 1950

By Tim Colliver

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