December 2023
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Submitted by Mazie Purtle (Mrs Dale Purtle)

Fifty-two years ago on September 18, 1962, Dale Purtle and I were married in the late afternoon by Father Crawford at Cite Marie-Paul in Saigon. Attendants were Claire Breckon, wife of FSO Lyall Breckon and Robert Hahang, a bank official. FSO Kenneth Rogers and his wife Millicent hosted our wedding reception at their home.

Dale was assigned by the Department of State to the Embassy in Phnom Penh as the Regional Language Supervisor for Southeast Asia, including Peace Corps language programs, traveling throughout seven countries. He chose for us to be married in Saigon, and liked riding as a passenger on Father’s motorcycle!! Dale just died August 30, 2014, at age 89.

Never having traveled out of the US, this was a huge step for me … more than only marriage. We had a wonderful life together for almost 52 years … beginning and blessed by Father Crawford.

Mazie (Velda Mae Primas) Purtle


  • Dave Zimmerman

    Mrs. Purtle,

    My wife and I were married by Father Crawford in April of 1978 and like you we have had a wonderful life. We go to Saigon frequently but have no idea where the church is we were married in. Can you give us any help?

  • Mike Dunn

    Yen and I were also married in Saigon by Father Crawford. It was on January 1, 1970, in the Regina Pacis Chapel, on Phan Dinh Phung street, in Saigon. Father Crawford was also our Softball coach for the Teenagers Softball team, which played in the Men’s League, at Pershing Field, in the JDP housing area; but that was back in 1961, when I was still a teenager. The wedding took place during the Vietnam War. I was a young captain, then, so I had to get permission from the USARV command to get married in country, and could not extend my tour after submitting the request. So, I extended my tour first, then submitted the application to marry. We’ll be at the reunion and hope to see some old friends.

  • My wife and I were parishioners of father Crawford and father Jacques Huysmans from late 1961 till early 1963. I wrote to father Tom Davitt who served in Fr. Crawford’s absence, with fr. Huysmans at in Saigon in 1971. And this is his reply:
    “Dear Jack — It is great to hear from you, as I had often been wondering about your new boat and yourself. The residence of Fathers Crawford and Huysmans ( and myself) was 217B Hien Vuong. The Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace was next door but the address was 42 Tu Xuong. That is on a printed wedding invitation which I have on my desk in front of me! If you are interested in Italian opera, the chorus in Puccini’s “Turandot” address the Emperor as “Descendant of Hien Vuong”. It is hard to realise that I was there over forty years ago. With every good wish: Tom Davitt CM”
    I was writing about our Vietnam time in my book “Soloman” and in Googling for names I came upon your site.I have a web site with a Vietnam section with some photographs of 1962 and visits by sailboat in 2006 and a winter’s stay in 2009/2010 at
    Tell me more about that Reunion.
    Tam Biet!
    Jack van Ommen

  • Jack Huxtable

    Margaret Balfe and I were married there too by Father Crawford. I was with State working in Laos. Margaret was also with State working as a nurse in Phu Vinh. We are going back to find the Church this month. We met Father Crawford again in Indonesia about 1986. I would be fun to connect with others on the list.

  • Jack Huxtable

    I forgot to add the date of our wedding: June 24, 1967.

    • Jack Huxtable

      After the wedding we returned to Laos and completed almost 30 years with State and are now retired living in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

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