Naomi Smith, a resident of The Village at Palmerton, celebrated her 87th birthday on April 11.
Born on her parents' farm (Monroe and Lucy Keller) in the Beltzville area, she attended Polk Township High School.
"That's where I met Earl, he was a senior and I was a junior," Naomi says with a giggle. "He was very smart. Earl dropped out in his senior year to enlist in the Air Force. He wanted to enlist before he was drafted, so he would have a better say of where he would be stationed."
When the boys left for the service, the teacher got their addresses, so friends at home could write .
"I wrote to Earl. I'd tell him all the things we were doing and anxiously await a reply from him so I could read about his travels and duties," says Naomi. "He came home in the summer of 1945 and we began dating. He was from Kunkletown and I was from Kresgeville, so we knew some of the same people."
Earl was discharged in late 1946, and he and Naomi married that December. Earl went to work for Bethlehem Steel, and Naomi took odd jobs here and there in factories and later for Western Electric, on the line.
She quit working to raise a family in 1948 and worked a bit in between having children. When Earl retired in 1989, they traveled. Her favorite was a boat trip down the Mississippi River into New Orleans.
"It was great fun. The boat would dock and we'd be able to travel to Graceland to tour Elvis' home, or take in a show to see Conway Twitty sing. And, of course, there was the best seafood!"
Earl passed away in 2007, and Naomi decided to move. She lived in Mahoning Valley for a time, but later moved to Palmerton.
"Looking back I realized that we had traveled to all the states except Oklahoma. Retirement was good to us and I am very thankful for the time we were given."
Naomi is active in her community.
"I like to do exercises, play bingo, and I enjoy the music programs and crafts. I even find time to sew, but I always start my morning reading the Bible, then you know the day will be a good one!"