You recently celebrated your 60th wedding anniversary, how did you and Ted meet?
Years ago, parishes had YPC (Young People’s Club) and they’d hold dances at different churches for the young people who’d graduated from high school. One day, my cousin asked if I would go with him so he could have a dance partner. I went to St. Boniface and I saw a girl who had been in my high school homeroom who invited me to St. Catherine’s the next day for Mass and a breakfast meeting. I went and got involved there and ended up taking a trip with them to Holy Hill for Mass and a picnic. On the way up the steps of the Basilica, I turned to Ted and said, “My dad works at the Schlitz Brewery,” and he said, “My dad works at the dairy.” He ended up asking me to a Marquette basketball game and that was that.
How did he propose?
Downstairs at my mom and dad’s house on Christmas Eve, and we went right from there to Holy Hill for Mass. We were married Nov. 12, 1960, at Our Lady of Sorrows. Fr. Walter J. Vogel was a new priest at the time, and married Ted and I and both of my sisters. We feel so grateful that he was able to hold a celebration Mass for our 60 years of marriage on Nov. 15 at St. Alphonsus. Many of our family members were able to attend; it was a beautiful day. Every fall, we go back to Holy Hill for Mass and to visit and remember the years we’ve been blessed with one another but this is something extra special.
What has been the key to your long marriage?
I think the world of him and he does of me. We treat each other special and I’m so glad I’ve got him. We lost our oldest son, Terry, this past July and never was I more glad to have Ted by my side as my partner through life. All the care and love we put into one another matters so much during times like that. I couldn’t have gotten through that without him.
How did you lean on your faith during that time?
It was the worst thing I’ve ever been through. He called and asked us to take him to the hospital. Ted went to go get him and I waited at home. When I heard he died, I called the rectory and Fr. Patrick drove me to the hospital and drove us back home after. It was the worst day. He was such a sweetheart and did everything for us, but our faith in God and the people at the church, they meant everything to us.
Can you tell me a little about your work as president of the Catholic School Lunch Program and Chapter 19 Wisconsin Food Service Association?
I received three awards and represented the state of Wisconsin at the National School Convention. I also am responsible for Gov. Tommy Thompson signing a bill into law to allow the senior citizens to eat school lunch in the private schools in the state. I believe school lunches offer nutritious, economical meals and a valuable chance for older adults to socialize.
After you and Ted retired, you were able to travel. Where were some of the places that you went?
Yes, we did, and it was a dream come true. We worked hard all our lives and raised a beautiful family. Ted graduated from Marquette University with a degree in chemistry and worked for Delco Electronic, and helped put a man on the moon by working on the guide system, so we earned our rest. We went all over Europe. Our first trip was to Fatima and Portugal to see where the Blessed Lady appeared. Growing up as one of seven, my family didn’t travel anywhere and I’d always wanted to see the world. We went to Rome twice and Germany twice and Medugorje, Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Costa Rica, Hawaii three times and Guatemala. It was a wonderful time and now that we can’t travel, I’m so glad to have those memories.