12 November, 2021 | 2 min read

Building Bridges Presents Harry and Frances

Larry and Francis“Being happy is a state of mind." Harry attributes his longevity to his wife Frances and his state of mind. Harry and Frances Bleile were married in 1942 and celebrated over 70 years of marriage. "Our marriage hasn't always been easy but, no relationship ever is," says Frances. 

Harry and Frances find happiness and fulfillment in family. Their legacy is their two daughters, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Their joy is watching their family grow.

Harry reveals his secret to a happy marriage is not to give up and keep at it. He also applies this wisdom to life, as well. He credits his success in love and life to his state of mind and his determination. "Be patient and nurture your relationships," says Harry.

Frances shares her best advice is to be flexible. "Even after more than 70 years, our relationship still is not perfect." She admits that a marriage takes work just like any other relationship. She advises, that each person needs to be open and recognize the strengths the other person brings to the relationship. 

Today they reside at Eskaton Village Grass Valley. Their hope is to continue to watch their family grow and to be involved in their lives. 

Watch their video produced and edited by Sierra Academy of Expeditionary Learning (SAEL) students through the Building Bridges Intergenerational Project at Eskaton Village Grass Valley. Harry and Frances collaborated with SAEL's students to create the poem "We Are," which is a heartwarming summation of two people united as one.

We are Harry and Frances Bleile

We are from tea pots and baseball games. 

From laundry detergent and toothpaste,

Things we always need. 

We are from the easy life and dirt poor fun...

Convenient, good times but still learning patience and following rules. 

We are from tulips,

Rosey red, 

And trees falling.

We are from Thanksgiving traditions in Pismo Beach and love.

From Devon and Anne

We are from a spiritual connection.

Two lives woven into one cloth.

We are from Oregon, Ireland, Poland,

California and the Sacramento River.

We are from shared meals, 

Our traditional food, lasagna and turkey.

From our generous daughter Nancy

And our fourth grandson, new to the world.

But family pictures are in boxes

And we spend time just remembering them.