Rockford interracial couple shares their experience in honor of Loving Day

Published: Jun. 12, 2020 at 6:12 PM CDT
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In honor of Loving Day, a local couple shared their experiences and challenges they've faced in an interracial marriage.

"My wife was someone who I chose and she chose me," said Glenn Patterson.

Glenn and Mary Patterson met in their sophomore year English class.

"Every time I looked up she was smiling at me so we ended up being really good friends and then we ended up going out," Glenn said.

But Mary says her parents weren't as happy and didn't want her dating someone of a different race.

"They didn't like it and they couldn't understand," Mary said.

But the two love-struck teens decided to go out anyway.

" If you don't like the person I'm with the person I love that's your issue," Glenn said.

Mary says the disapproval didn't just end with her parents even some of her friends questioned her decision.

"People said you are a really nice girl, why did you end up with a black guy," Mary said.

Glenn and Mary looked past the comments, got married, and started a family only then did Mary's parents begin to support her choices.

"They learned to trust him and like him a lot so it turned out pretty good," Mary said.

The Pattersons now have three boys and a girl.

"All three of our boys have served in the United States Armed Services and our daughter she's a nurse - an RN," Glenn said.

The Pattersons believe their children can appreciate all cultures because of their upbringing.

"It makes them better and more well-rounded people. So we have no regrets about our kids and we have 10 grandkids on top of it," Glenn said.

National Loving Day is considered the biggest multiracial celebration in the United States.