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Twins celebrate 40th wedding anniversaries

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Stephanie Szuda/The Times
September 12, 2009
— Dayle and Gayle's father had three wishes in life, and two of them involved his children.

He wished to have a set of twins, which was accomplished in 1948 when Dayle and Gayle Olsen, fraternal twins, were born. And the second came true Sept. 6, 1969, when the twins wed on the same day.


"My dad always teased us that he wasn't going to pay for two weddings," said Gayle, who lives in Janesville.


Unfortunately, their father wasn't alive to see them wed. He died June 23, 1969.


Last weekend, Dayle and Howard Spicer, of Marseilles, and Gayle and Jim Dumke celebrated their 40th wedding anniversaries.


The twins met their husbands shortly after they moved to Marseilles from Wisconsin as freshmen in high school. Gayle met Jim at school. Howard was the boy next door.


The four went to movies and bowled together, Dayle said.


Up until high school, Dayle said she and her sister were forced to be alike—even in their attire.


"We always dressed the same," she said. "My mom made us."


When Dayle got her first job, she enjoyed buying her own clothes. But outside their teen years, the twins didn't mind sharing with each other, which is why both enjoyed sharing their wedding day.


Gayle and Jim were engaged first, and Dayle and Howard followed shortly after.


"It was really fun," Gayle said of their wedding day.


"It was hectic, of course," Dayle said.


Gayle planned most of it, Dayle said, but the sisters easily agreed on colors and decorations.


Gayle purchased her dress, while Dayle's grandmother made hers. Their uncle walked them down the aisle at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Seneca. Dayle—the oldest by two hours—walked the aisle first.


Jim and Gayle have three sons, and Dayle and Howard have one son and one daughter.


Years later, the sisters remain close, even while living in different states.


"When you have a twin, you always have a partner in crime and for good things, too," Dayle said.


Gayle said she and her sister remain close and speak to each other every week. The four get together often and enjoy attending Civil War re-enactments together.


"John and I always call it two halves of the brain getting back together," Howard said. "What one doesn't think of the other one does."


The couples have been attending re-enactments together the past six years. Most are in Wisconsin, Gayle said, but they also go to Gettysburg, Pa.


"Jim is a big history buff," Dayle said.


He and Gayle got Dayle and Howard interested in going to the re-enactments. Gayle makes her own costumes, and Dayle makes her own hats, capes and skirts.


"We thought it would be a fun hobby," she said.


The four celebrated their anniversaries over the weekend in Janesville.


"My whole family came up and we had lunch at our house," Gayle said. "We took them around Janesville."


The sisters' two brothers treated the couples to hotel rooms in Janesville.


"We just had a great weekend," Gayle said.


Reprinted with permission from The Times of Ottawa, Ill.

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