Steamboat Springs Dan Faucett will never forget the afternoon he picked to ask the father of the woman he has been married to for almost 25 years for her hand in marriage.
Dan had made up his mind that he would propose to Kathy Brunskill on Valentine's Day in 1977.
Before he did propose, Dan wanted to get the blessing from Kathy's father, Ernie.
"I went and talked to her dad," Dan said. "Her dad has a lot of guns. When I went over, he was cleaning his guns on the table."
At first, Dan was given a perplexed look by his future father-in-law, but he did not let that or the guns get in his way of asking the question.
"I asked him about marrying his daughter, and he said it would be fine," he said.
The two California natives would marry later that year, July 16, in their hometown of Fremont, Calif.
The wedding was a culmination of a friendship that started years before that gradually led to love. Since their wedding, the couple has always put God at the center of their relationship. Their relationship would be tested in the years to come.
Pat Girton, who is a close friend of the couple, could tell right away Dan and Kathy shared a special bond when she met the couple about 20 years ago.
"They have a great marriage," Pat said. "They have weathered some tough times."
Dan and Kathy grew up in the same town, which is about a half-hour from San Francisco, and are only a year apart in age.
Dan, 47, graduated from Washington High School in 1971, and Kathy, 46, a year later.
Despite living in the same town and attending the same school, they did not know each other that well.
"I knew who she was but I never talked to her," Dan said of the high school years.
It would take years before Dan would really get to know his future wife.
The couple was introduced by Dan's older sister, Jory, who was living in a house with Kathy.
"Jory was renting a home with four or five other girls," Dan said. "I would go over sometimes and fix things."
Said Kathy, "I would go over to Jory's house and Danny would be there, but he would always be out riding his motorcycle or doing something.
"This was more of a gradual thing. It was like 'Oh yeah, your brother is kind of cute.'"
Through the years, Dan would accompany Jory and her friends on ski outings and other activities the group did, Kathy said.
Soon the group dwindled to just Dan and Kathy.
"We did so much as a group that it is hard to remember when it became just the two of us," Kathy said.
Kathy planned the wedding with the help of her three younger sisters and mother.
"There was excitement in her family because she was the oldest and the first to get married," Dan said. "I didn't do much planning, but I heard all the details."
The Faucetts had an outdoor wedding at a mansion that was donated to the city of Fremont by the Shinn family. The city transformed the mansion and its grounds into a park, Dan said.
"In California, you never have to worry about the weather," Kathy said. "It was a nice wedding. We had the reception in the garden. It was very beautiful."
"I was excited for the wedding," Dan said. "We seemed really compatible. I didn't have any second thoughts. I was real excited to start my life with Kathy."
After the wedding, the couple started saving money to buy a home.
"We were saving to buy a house in California," Kathy said, rolling her eyes.
The couple in 1978 decided to use the money they had saved and take a trip to Europe.
The couple spent four months driving around Europe in a car borrowed from Kathy's relatives, who live in Switzerland.
"My family thought we were crazy for driving all over the place," Kathy said in reference to Europeans, who mostly use trains for long-distance travel.
After the trip, the couple returned home and wanted to find a small town to settle in.
The opportunity to come to northwest Colorado arose when Dan's uncle, Harry Allen, was planning on opening a mine north of Hayden.
"My dad knew the area," Dan said. "He told us all about Hayden and Steamboat Springs.
"We liked to snow ski. We wanted to move to a small town to raise a family, but we wanted to be an hour from a ski resort."
In January 1979, the couple ventured out to Colorado where Kathy was introduced to Colorado winters.
"In California, everything stays green year-round," she said. "When we were driving into the area, I saw all these trees without leaves. I told Dan a major storm must have come through here."
The couple decided to move to Colorado and lived in Craig for about six months. At the time, the couple was expecting their first child, Austin.
In October 1979, the couple bought a well-known home in Hayden that was built in the 1890s.
The couple bought the home that belonged for years to the late Winnie Carroll.
"In town, nobody knows the address, but they know where the home is," Kathy said.
The home was used by Carroll to teach piano lessons to many Hayden youths.
"She was known in town as Grandma Carroll," Dan said. "We never got to meet her, but we have friends who will come over and tell us about the piano lessons they had in this home."
Since settling in Hayden, the couple has been involved in the community. Currently, Dan works at ColoWyo Coal and also volunteers on the town's fire department. He also served on the Town Board of Trustees.
Kathy is a substitute teacher and also taught quilting classes.
"Hayden is a nice community," Kathy said. "I don't think I would ever want to move."
Through the years, Dan has added a second bathroom to the Poplar Street home and has done some remodeling. He also converted a garage into a guest room.
The work was done for the couple's growing family. After Austin, who is now 21, the couple had Jerod and then Grace, who is 16.
The couple is dealing with the loss of Jerod, who succumbed to leukemia Sept. 30 after a five-year battle. Jerod was 17.
"You never think you will outlive your children," Kathy said.
During Jerod's battle with the blood disease, the couple was told that it is common for a couple to divorce after losing a child.
"It could draw us together or it could pull us apart," Dan said.
In the four months that have passed since Jerod's death, the family is closer than it has ever been.
"It has brought us closer as a family," he said. "We enjoy our time together a little more. It's not always a guarantee that your family will be intact."
The couple owes their ability to get through this tough time on their faith. Since the couple arrived in the Yampa Valley, they have been active in the Euzoa Bible Church in Steamboat Springs.
"They have interacted beautifully throughout this whole thing," said Pat of Jerod's death.
Through the years, Dan has been active in the church's leadership program, and Kathy has taught Bible classes and is active in a women's group.
"They are a solid couple," said the Rev. Rob Ryg, who is the church's pastor. "They have a great relationship."
In their greatest time of need, Dan and Kathy have been leaning on one another for support.
"I would hate to go through this without Dan," Kathy said. "When I am having a hard time, Dan is strong. When he is struggling, I will be there.
"We are letting each other grieve in our own way."
Even after close to 25 years of marriage, Dan and Kathy Faucett still have the same values as when they were married on that sunny California afternoon.
"God is central in our marriage," she said. "It is like a pyramid. We are at the edge of the triangle and God is at the center. The closer we move to the Lord, the closer we move to each other."