Posted: Aug 25, 2012 11:58 PM by Dennis Bragg - KPAX News
Updated: Aug 27, 2012 11:28 AM
ST. IGNATIUS- Jill Valley's viewers were stunned two years ago when her very existence was threatened by breast cancer. This weekend they're celebrating along with her as she marries her long-time friend and starts a new phase of her life.
On a picture-perfect day in the shadow of the Mission Mountains, Valley and Steve Allard were married before dozens of family, friends and co-workers culminating a journey together that's been filled with both laughter and tears.
The pair had actually met briefly some 20-years ago. But it wasn't until a meeting at the Good Old Days celebration in St. Ignatius four years ago that the romance began to spark. With friends knowing they'd be "perfect for each other", it took a little longer for Jill and Steve to come to the same conclusion.
And the development of the romance had to wait while Valley had her very public battle with cancer. Throughout the ordeal, with its tears and countless hours of hospital visits, Steve remained by Jill's side, offering comfort, support and encouragement.
With the cancer gone, the couple's attention could once more return to their future.
During the early evening ceremony Saturday on a friend's ranch just outside of St. Ignatius, Valley arrived to the strains of violin music, riding in an Amish carriage specially painted for the big occasion. When she stepped down, Jill walked up the aisle with Steve, and her daughter Raquel. Before saying their vows, the couple was blessed by Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes' Cultural Chairman Tony Incashola, honoring Allard's tribal membership and his family's historic place in the valley.
The company got a thrill when three of Allard's pilot friends buzzed the field, dropping streamers on their second pass.
Afterward, Jill thanked everyone for their love and support, dancing closely with her new husband with the mountains punctuating the moment in dramatic fashion. Allard's thrill at the day was obvious.
"If this was a casino, I've hit the jackpot," he joked to the audience's applause.