Mary Ring and Dale Lage of Holly didn’t know each other at the time, but both had served aboard the U.S.S. Dwight D. Eisenhower during their military service in the U.S. Navy, a decade apart.
They’ve been Holly residents since 2014, moving here from Norfolk, Virginia to care for Dale’s mother and to be close to family.
Dale’s quiet personality and attention to detail were a perfect fit for his volunteer work at the military library at the Holly Area Veterans Resource Center. He had served in the Navy from 1983 to 1987, first in Kefilivik, Iceland at the NATO Military Airlift Command, and then on the U.S.S. Eisenhower.
Mary’s outgoing demeanor and her pride in her 10-year experience as a naval electrician’s mate made her a perfect complement to Dale’s military experience. She spent six years as a floating crane operator in Holy Locke, Scotland and then as a Boatswain’s Mate on the U.S.S. Eisenhower,
Meanwhile, Elena Nierink of Anna’s Interior Design in Holly’s Battle Alley was looking for a deserving veteran to honor with a “Suite Dreams” bedroom makeover.
She realized that veterans often have a difficult time sleeping and had provided this service before at her Allen Park interior design business. “I did this a long time ago and thought I’d bring the idea to Holly,” Nierink said. She has been in business in Holly for three years and in Allen Park for 30 years.
Holly Area Veterans Resource Center Secretary Ina Golden suggested the Lage’s when Nierink asked her about a deserving veteran. Nierink then approached Penny (Winglemire) Raupp at Winglemire Furniture in Holly.
“We talked it over about giving back to our veterans and keeping it all local,” said Raupp, whose business donated a Restonic mattress and box spring set for the bedroom makeover.
Anna’s Interior Design donated new nightstands, lamps, window treatments, matted artwork that Mary Lage had painted, and wall art. Nierink’s painter donated his time and paint and her installer donated his time to hang the window treatments.
“Mary let Dale take the reigns in making choices about colors, bedding style, etc.,” Nierink said. “I think he really enjoyed the experience.”
The bedding that Dale chose was sentimental because it included the color turquoise from their wedding on Aug. 6, 2011. “It’s kind of like having HGTV here, only better,” Dale said. “It’s a dream bedroom for us.”
“It feels good to have done this for them,” said Nierink, who hopes to involve more businesses in future projects.
“We’re very excited about it,” said Raupp. “The couple was very emotional.”