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The Disruption of Weddings, Then and Now

  • April 14, 2021

Deany Keith was 16 and living with her family in Corning, N.Y., when her brother, Preston Douglas Powers, a soldier in World War II, sent her a silk German parachute he found while on the beach in Normandy, France, on D-Day. It was 1944 and parachutes had become coveted items — for making wedding dresses.

“When I got engaged to a boy I met at a square dance, who was also in the service, my mother made me a wedding gown out of it because material for dresses was scarce,” said Ms. Keith, now 93, from her home at Country Meadows, a retirement community in York, Pa. “The fact that my brother thought enough to send it to me, and that my mother made the dress, made this special. It was a family effort. You treasured something like this. Especially during that time.”

She and her husband, Clinton Keith, were married Aug. 23, 1947. Today her dress is one of 20 that have been donated to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.

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