Two FBI agents entered an elevator within their Indianapolis headquarters. She had heard about the tall, good-looking agent. There was no exaggeration regarding his looks, gregarious personality, and kindheartedness. He seemed to know everyone on the elevator except for her. Exiting the elevator together, conversation between them immediately ensued. Dale and Linda discovered that not only were their desks in close proximity, but they also lived in the same neighborhood.
Days later, Dale made a request: “I’m headed out of town for a few days. Would you mind picking up the mail from my house for me?” Linda didn’t mind at all. Their attempt to remain only colleagues quickly transformed.
The trip that sealed their relationship occurred a few months later. Dale’s brother and Linda’s parents both lived in Pennsylvania, one hour apart from one another. When Dale, a private pilot, asked Linda if she’d like to fly with him so the two could spend time with their families, Linda immediately replied, “YES!”
“Flying into Pennsylvania was easy. Linda left for her family’s home. I went to my brother’s. On the day we needed to return, however, a historic fog bank settled in that prevented us from flying home. Linda came to my brother’s house to wait for the storm to clear. Confined for a week transitioned our relationship into a speed dating experience. My family, including my young nieces, begged me to ‘keep dating Linda,’” Dale shares. “The fog didn’t lift, so we left the plane and rented a car. The hours of that drive deepened our bond, and to this day I believe we owe our relationship to that fog bank.
“From then on, our relationship was on the fast track,” laughs Dale.
Fifteen months after their first date, Linda and Dale married in Pennsylvania. Dale took Linda on her first trip west driving through Colorado and New Mexico. “It was the perfect honeymoon,” Linda says, as she looks directly at Dale.
Returning to their FBI careers, Dale explains, “The majority of my career involved investigating violent crime; everything from bank robberies to kidnappings to violent fugitives. Then, in 1994, I was transferred to the Denver field office.”
Linda, who resigned as an agent before they married, had been hired as a deputy prosecuting attorney in Indianapolis. “When asked about our work, I explain that Dale worked in violent crimes, and I prosecuted violent criminals. I always emphasize my primary focus was helping victims,” Linda says.
As soulmates do, Dale picks up the conversation: “After transferring to Denver, we quickly learned about Evergreen. After one visit, we knew this was where we wanted to live. Brandon was 7 and is now a U.S. Navy physician assistant. Amy was 2 and is now a renewable energy attorney. Brian was 1 and is now cofounder of a tech company named Campsite. Soon after moving to Evergreen, we opened Lovin’s Books and Music (now HearthFire Books). We are grateful to have been able to raise our children in the caring and giving community of Evergreen.”
When Dale retired in 1997, he became an author and is currently working on his fifth novel. He also became a volunteer and board member for Mount Evans Home Health Care & Hospice and Resilience1220. Linda became a teacher at Evergreen High School. “I taught psychology and AP Human Geography. I also helped coach the EHS Mock Trial Team, which is a competition where students simulate a real criminal or civil trial. Several of those students are now attorneys,” states Linda. She also worked with many of the community’s nonprofits including the Rotary Club of Evergreen.
The Lovins’ fast-paced lifestyle never clouded their first priority: their marriage. “I equate love to a country western song,” Dale says. “If love doesn’t come easy, let it go. Loving Linda comes easy, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to continuously work on our marriage. Our relationship has always been about compromise, giving and listening. You can’t think, ‘I will marry this person and work on changing them into what I want them to be.’ You have to accept one another and continuously transition and grow together.”
When asked what each would thank the other for, Dale says, “I am so grateful to Linda for our wonderful children, and the life she created for our family. She has grown even more beautiful with age, as has her charm and character. She has taught me how to maintain a spark, keep learning, and the importance of growing together.” Linda responds, “Dale has provided me with a wonderful life I never dreamed I could have. I was always a planner, but luckily Dale upset every plan I had early on for my life. He introduced me, as well as our children, to the wonder of nature, the importance of self-care and being physically and mentally active.”
Linda refers to Dale as her “Renaissance Man,” a term used to denote high quality. Dale reveals, “Linda loves unconditionally, and we both value the ability to be honest with one another.”
And, above all, their commitment to each other and their family unites them with a bond they never want broken.