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A World War II Love Story

Updated on January 22, 2014

It All Happened in Belgium

A love story that could be a mini-series. I loved my Mother and Father and I know they loved each other. I also love this story and other than my family, not too many others know it and I think they should. The romance that started in Belgium during World War II, carried on for many years and ended with...well...me.

It is a real story and the names have NOT been changed to protect the innocent.

I hope you enjoy this love story and feel free to contact me, especially for a screenplay!

Photos from this website are from my family albums, unless otherwise cited.

love lane
love lane

Anything Could Have Stopped This From Happening

The Chance of Love that Caused Me to Exist!

This love story begins in Ohio. My Father, Charles C. Villars was a farm boy who was drafted to be in the U.S. Army and ended up going to Texas. Prior to him being drafted and what he did in the military, are other stories that I will tell later.

My Father, ended up in the 147th Combat Engineer Battalion. This battalion started in the USA and went from Galveston, Texas to England. They prepped and readied themselves for some sort of a battle in France, although they didn't know exactly what. They couldn't be told because of the secrecy of what was about to happen.

On June 6, 1944 they embarked from England to France and landed on Omaha Beach. It wasn't an easy trip and wasn't an especially pleasant landing with all of the fire from the Germans on the cliffs. Many of my Father's comrades died and he survived.

His unit moved through France and into Belgium to help liberate these German-occupied countries. That is where he met my Mother. The rest of the story is below and I hope you enjoy it as much as I love it.

1940s Swing Music - Glenn Miller and "In The Mood" - Soundtrack to put you in the mood for this romantic love story

Esneux, Belgium - A Photo I Took Many Years Ago While Visiting Relatives - Note the16th Century Architecture

Esneux, Belgium
Esneux, Belgium

D-Day was now over and on or around July in 1944, the Allies went through France and started liberating Western Europe. After crossing France, Esneux Belgium was the scene of the Allies fighting or traveling through during World War II.

Esneux was occupied by Germany since 1940. My Mother, who was 21 at the time of the German occupation due to the German "Blitzkreig" and subsequent Belgium surrender, told me many stories of the occupation. One of these was the smuggling of bread and food into the house because if they were caught by the Germans, they would lose the food and could be raped or executed. She was lucky she was Catholic because the Jews were sent to concentration camps and anti-Jewish laws were enacted by the Germans.

The German occupation ended in Belgium in 1944, the same year that my Father met my Mother in Esneux.

Imagine being occupied and ruled by another country and the oppression that took place while this occupation was in effect. In addition to the hellish 4 years from 1940-1944 that my mother had to endure, the country had just been released from another 4 year German occupation from 1914-1918, just 3 years before my Mother was born. My Grandmother had to endure both occupations. It is no wonder she moved to the USA with my Mother and my Father!

Single Track Mountain Biking in Esneux, Belgium - This is a crazy video!

Charles C. Villars and Yvonne Maria Herminie Josephine Guillane Olette - As they looked when they met

Chales and Yvonne Villars
Chales and Yvonne Villars

My Father was about 26 in this photo. It was taken while he was still in the United States and had not yet left for Europe. He was a Private E-2 in this photo and he talked about the photo with his "Mosquito Wings", in other words, his Private Stripes.

This is one of my Mother's earlier photos from my album. In this photo, she is wearing a coat made completely from an Army blanket, no doubt given to her by my Father. She inscribes her love to him on the bottom right corner.

My Father, was already married when he went over for D-Day but his wife in the United States had numerous indiscretions so his plans to divorce her upon his return were already made.

When my Father met my Mother in Esneux, Belgium, he could not marry her because he was already married. He finished his tour in Europe, keeping in contact with my mother through letters and then left back for the States by ship to get divorced. Upon his divorce, he immediately embarked back to Europe to marry my Mother.

My Grandparents no doubt thought he was crazy but his love drove him back to her. I am glad, or I wouldn't be here today! Both of these trips by sea were lengthy and the marriage was held in Esneux Belgium in 1946.

My Mother, did not know ANY English and came to the USA with him with love in her heart and they made a life here.

"A kiss is a rosy dot over the 'i' of loving."

Cyrano de Bergerac

If My Mother Were Alive, She Would Recycle Clothing - And she would love this book!

Felted Wool Fashions: Making New Styles from Old Knits
Felted Wool Fashions: Making New Styles from Old Knits

My Mother, who learned to sew from my Grandmother, would've loved this book. As you can see from one of her photos, she made a coat out of an Army blanket. You can't get more imaginative than that and during World War II, recycling was very big in Europe since it was hard to buy new things. Take a look at this book and chalk one up to my Mother's ingenuity. Thanks for looking!

 

The First Home that my Parents Owned - Talk about meager beginnings!

mom and dads house
mom and dads house

This was the first house that my Father and Mother owned. It was converted from a one-car garage into a small house.

It was not a house of convenience but it was surely full of love!.

"A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love."

Stendhal

The German Occupation of Belgium

My Father and Mother on the Farm - Raising chickens in Ohio

Mom Dad Chickens
Mom Dad Chickens

Although many things were different for my Mother, she learned quickly. The farm life was not unfamiliar to her and they raised farm animals and made a living. She quickly learned English and adapted.

I remember her telling me once that she almost went back to Belgium because although she could cook, my Grandmother on my Father's side, gave her a hard time because she couldn't cook like an American cooked. Her love for my Father kept her here.

"Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives."

C. S. Lewis

My Grandmother Arrives - No, she was not a Beagle

Mom Dad Gypsy
Mom Dad Gypsy

My Grandmother on my Mother's side of the family came to the USA after a few years. Part of her coming to the USA was probably due to the fact that she was tired of German occupation of Belgium.

This is a photo of my Mother on the ground with their favorite Beagle named Gypsy and my Grandmother's legs.

What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong

My Mother and Father at My Graduation - Wilmington, Ohio

mom dad my graduation
mom dad my graduation

Although this is many years later, this is a photo of my Mother and Father with me after my High School graduation. They had two children, my Sister and I and we were the products of older parents. My Sister was born 12 years after they were married and I was born 15 years later.

"Come live in my heart, and pay no rent."

Samuel Lover

More Love Arrives! - Grandma and Grandpa and Their First Grandchild

mom dad shanon
mom dad shanon

My Mother and Father and my daughter, Shanon, the first grandchild.

1940's Nostalgic Décor Items - Items to take you back to Pre-Lucy days!

My Father, Charles C. Villars - Shortly before his death in 1987

Dad shortly before death
Dad shortly before death

The love of my Mother's life. Things were never the same for her after his death.

My Mother, Yvonne M. Villars - Shortly before her death in 1999.

mom shortly before death
mom shortly before death

I still miss her and love her. My Mother was a great person. She survived World War II, moved to a country that she didn't know and a language she couldn't speak, earned a Bachelor's and Master's Degree and retired from teaching High School in the Public School System.

Did You Enjoy This Romantic Love Story? - Please let me know your story!

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    • tvyps profile image
      Author

      Teri Villars 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @ColettaTeske: Thank you. It was very nice of you to visit.

    • profile image

      Nancy1314 3 years ago

      so romantic

    • profile image

      ColettaTeske 3 years ago

      What an awesome story and a wonderful tribute to your parents. I love the way you honored their memory. Great job! Thank you for sharing.

    • tvyps profile image
      Author

      Teri Villars 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @Lynn Klobuchar: Yes, I agree. Flowers do grow out of fertilizer...I didn't need to have a garden to learn that lesson. Thank you for the visit.

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      Thank you for sharing. Out of such pain and destruction so much love.

    • tvyps profile image
      Author

      Teri Villars 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @esmonaco: You're welcome. I am happy to hear about someone else that is the product of a fabulous relationship that occurred during World War II. You should write about it!

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      This is just a wonderful love story, thank you for sharing it. My Parents were married in 1943 while my dad was serving in the Navy. After WWII he went back to serve in Korea. Thanks Again

    • profile image

      AnuradhaM 3 years ago

      yes, I enjoyed it thoroughly... It was lovely... Thanks for sharing with us....

    • tvyps profile image
      Author

      Teri Villars 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @delia-delia: My Father, who was American, rarely talked about the past to us either. Most of my stories came from my Mother. My Father rarely talked about things that he didn't want to remember, especially the horrors of war.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 3 years ago

      Written with Love! Very interesting and enjoyable story, very important to document...I started out late documenting because my parents had past and Germans did not talk about the past to their children...at least I started my genealogy many years ago, and things are coming together on Squidoo and because of Squidoo.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      What a blessing to read about marriages that work. It's proof that God knows what He says about marriages being a gift from Him. Thanks for sharing this story.

    • tvyps profile image
      Author

      Teri Villars 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @Country-Sunshine: Thank you very much for your visit. I was hoping to write a miniseries about them at some point but not sure most of the material hasn't already been covered.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Super!

      une histoire digne d'être dans un film... Merci de l'avoir partagée.

      L'Amour nous fait parfois des chooses incroyables...

      Renaud (from Esneux)

    • Country-Sunshine profile image

      Country Sunshine 4 years ago from Texas

      Such a sweet story, and a great tribute to the love between them, and the love you have for them. Sending blessings your way!

    • tvyps profile image
      Author

      Teri Villars 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      @anonymous: Thank you for visiting! You must know Marc?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I did enjoy this story.

      My favorite parts of this lens were:

      -the authentic pictures were beautiful, especially the one that read "love lane" that was my favorite image

      -the quote by C.S. Lewis

      -the great, romantic love story

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      Remarkable parents and especially your mother for moving so far out of her comfort zone.

    • profile image

      erousculp 5 years ago

      What a beautiful story. You honor your parents by telling their story so lovingly. Kudos.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing this amazing love story.

    • Anahid LM profile image

      Anahid LM 5 years ago

      Hi great story beautiful. I wish you a happy Valentine's day. All the best. Anna

    • Anahid LM profile image

      Anahid LM 5 years ago

      Hi beautiful story great to read. All the best Anna

    • Image Girl profile image

      Image Girl 5 years ago

      Wonderful story! thank you for sharing!!

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 5 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Love truly brought them together, even over the ocean! This is lovely story and I am sure they would be happy you took the time to make this lens :)

    • profile image

      Ruthi 5 years ago

      An amazing and wonderful love story! It is great to read a tale of love rising from the war. My blessings and a bit o' sunshine.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      This was just lovely. I enjoyed the old photos, the family history and the love story. Your children and grandchildren will savor this over the years.

      I'll be back Feb. 1st to give it a blessing.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I really enjoyed this story....and the Glen Miller music while reading it. My brother married a German girl during the period after WWII, so I know how hard it is for someone to give up country and family and move to a strange country. Sounds like your Mom and Dad did just fine, and that love kept them going. Blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I so much injoyed the story Terry .

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Oh, the happy tears don't want to stop, this is so heart touchingly beautiful Terri. Thanks for letting me know about you new lens. This lens is meaningful and one of the best uses of squidoo I can think of. I love it! ~ Blessed!