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During winters the family made long visits to relatives in the milder climate of San Antonio, Texas. There, in 1915, at Fort Sam Houston, Mamie met Dwight D. Eisenhower, a young second lieutenant on his first tour of duty. On St. Valentine's Day in 1916 he gave her a miniature of his West Point class ring to seal a formal engagement; they were married at the Doud home in Denver on July 1.
For years Mamie Eisenhower's life followed the pattern of other Army wives: a succession of posts in the United States, in the Panama Canal Zone; duty in France, in the Philippines. She once estimated that in 37 years she had unpacked her household at least 27 times. Each move meant another step in the career ladder for her husband, with increasing responsibilities for her.
The first son Doud Dwight or "Icky," who was born in 1917, died of scarlet fever in 1921. A second child, John, was born in 1922 in Denver. Like his father he had a career in the army; later he became an author and served as ambassador to Belgium.
During World War II, while promotion and fame came to "Ike," his wife lived in Washington, DC. After he became president of Columbia University in 1948, the Eisenhowers purchased a farm at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It was the first home they had ever owned. His duties as commander of North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces--and hers as his hostess at a chateau near Paris--delayed work on their dream home, finally completed in 1955. They celebrated with a housewarming picnic for the staff from their last temporary quarters: the White House. Diplomacy--and air travel--in the postwar world brought changes in their official hospitality. The Eisenhowers entertained an unprecedented number of heads of state and leaders of foreign governments
In 1961 the Eisenhowers returned to Gettysburg for eight years of contented retirement together. After her husband's death in 1969, Mamie continued to live on the farm. Mamie Eisenhower died on November 1, 1979. She is buried beside her husband in a small chapel on the grounds of the Eisenhower Library in Abilene, Kansas.