We recently hosted the lovely 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration of Drake & Madeline Dierkhising. Here is their love story!
Drake Dierkhising was from St. Joseph, Minnesota when he met Madeline Westfield in the kitchen of her Savin Hill, Dorchester home where she grew up. Her brother, John and Drake were roommates in the BOQ at the Naval Station, in Newport, RI, during February and March ’64 where Drake was in Military Justice School to become a Sea Lawyer. “I begged him to invite me to visit Boston – I was bored, not knowing anyone in Newport!” Luckily, Drake got that invitation and made it up to Boston where he met the woman of his dreams.
“Madeline was snapping beans in the kitchen and she had on a green sweater, showing off her blond hair – it was love at first sight!” They exchanged letters for a year, while Drake was stationed at the Naval Base, in Norfolk, Va. In 1965 Madeline moved down to Washington D.C., to work for the Navy Department. “I made many weekend trips to D.C. in 1965, when I wasn’t deployed to the Mediterranean. After I returned home from that cruise, things became serious and I proposed to Madeline on New Year’s Day 1966.” While Drake was on a Caribbean cruise June – September 1966, Madeline found out thru the Navy Department grapevine that they were going to be posted to the Naval Communication Station located in Rota, Spain!! “While I was continuing Communication School in Newport, Madeline made the arrangements for our Wedding reception which was held in the Dome Room of the Lenox Hotel! Our Wedding was held on Saturday the 26th of November 1966 – which will be exactly the same day as 50 years ago..”
On November 26, 2016, Madeline & Drake returned to the Lenox Hotel to relive the magic from their special day exactly 50 years ago. While the Dome Room has had some beautiful design and maintenance updates over the last 50 years, the architectural integrity of the room remains just as they remembered! Many of their friends and family who joined them here back in 1966 returned to watch this amazing couple renew their vows. One of their sons, Adam helped planned the special evening which included a photo booth, a three-tiered replica of their wedding cake, a roast of the couple paired with a slide show and an amazing buffet spread and open bar for guests! After friends and family made toasts and speeches, they danced the night away! On their way out the door the following day Drake explained, “We had such a wonderful time, it is actually hard to leave, we had such a great time and the entire staff was great.”