Love story: Building family from scratch: Couple met as children in orphanage, married at 18 and have seen world together

Dona and John Clay’s early experience of family was less than heartwarming.

That’s one of the reasons the couple forged their own family with bonds that have endured 65 years and counting.

They met at the Home for Orphans of Odd Fellows, in Philadelphia.

“My mother died when I was 3,” Dona said. “My dad put my sister and me in the orphanage when I was 8½. We never knew why he put us there.”

In retrospect she surmises it happened because her stepmother became pregnant and was placed on bed rest.

“We were told it would just be for the summer,” she said.

But though her father paid

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