The Newlyweds left the altar to “Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder”

Wilson-Neal Nuptials Performed Sunday May 16

Miss Doris L. Wilson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clabe Wilson of Minburn, became the bride of Lieut. Warren D. Neal of Marfa, Texas, son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Neal of Dexter. The single ring ceremony was performed in the First Presbyterian church in Dexter at 4 o’clock Sunday May 16, 1943 with Rev. S. C. Wadding officiating.

Mervin Wells (husband of Warren’s sister Betty), Warren and Doris, and Doris’s sister Darlene Scar

Miss Nadine Neal, sister of the groom played at the [pump] organ the Bridal chorus from Lohengrin as the young couple marched down the aisle accompanied by Mrs. Alvin Scar, sister of the bride and Mr. Mervin Wells, brother-in-law of the groom. After the bridal party took their places at the altar decorated with Lilacs and tulips, Miss Nadine Neal accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Mervin Wells sang the beautiful strains of “I Love You Truly.”

The bride wore a two piece aqua suit with white accessories and carried a white Bible. Her matron of honor wore a black and white checked suit with beige accessories. Both wore corsages of gardenias and pink roses. The groom wore his army officers uniform and the best man wore a brown pin stripe suit with white boutonniere. Mothers of the happy couple wore beautiful yellow rose corsages.

After the ceremony the bridal party left the altar to the refrain of the Army Air Corps song to be congratulated by the immediate families present. Immediately following the ceremony, Lieut. and Mrs. Neal left for a short trip before their return to Marfa, Texas, where he is an instructor at the Army air force advanced flying school.

My great grandparents O.S. and Nellie (Keith) Neal, grandparents Ruby (Blohm) and Kenneth Neal, parents Warren and Doris (Wilson) Neal, grandparents Leora (Goff) and Clabe Wilson.

Those atending [sic] were Mrs. and Mrs. Claeb [sic] Wilson and Junior of Minburn, Mrs. and Mrs. Kenneth Neal, Marian, Scotty and Nadine, Mr. and Mrs. Mervin Wells, Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Scar, Mrs. S. C. Wadding, Mr. and Mrs. O. S Neal, grandparents of the groom and Mrs. Willis K. Neal, all of Dexter and John O. Shepherd, USCHR of Accomae, Virginia.

[Newspaper clipping from May 1943, unknown source] [Warren’s brother Willis was in the Army Air Force. Their sister Nadine would soon marry John Shepherd.]

Doris and Warren had dated off and on since high school. Doris later said that they really got better acquainted through letter writing during the war. With four brothers already in the service, and calls for women to enlist to help with “the cause,” Doris collected recommendations from teachers and had begun the process to apply for the WAVES, the WWII women’s branch of the Naval Reserve.

Warren was afraid they’d get separated forever so he convinced her to “join the wives” instead.

Doris found her wedding outfit in downtown Des Moines. The aqua suit cost $25.45 (.50 tax included) at Taylor’s, Seventh and Walnut, “Where Des Moines Shops With Confidence.” And white ankle-strap, peep-toe shoes for $5.61 at Baker’s on Seventh.

Warren arrived home on a Saturday. They were married the next afternoon, May 16, at the Presbyterian church in Dexter, where Warren’s family attended. 

Warren didn’t own a car yet, so the newlyweds caught a ride to Texas with another couple.

Story from Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II.


  1. I love reading this, as you know Warren was my favorite Sunday School teacher, what a Beautiful Couple ❤️❤️💕💕

  2. Weddings were much simpler then. It didn’t sound like there was even a reception or celebratory meal afterwards. Doris probably had to use her savings to pay for her dress and shoes. The newlyweds even had to hitch a ride. Very interesting!

    • Dad was in between classes. If he couldn’t get back to Iowa, she was going to Texas to get married. Middle of the war! Dad’s brother was also a pilot and couldn’t get home to be the best man.

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