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February 27, 2013
Married 62 years and counting
Eugene “Bud” Nelson and Arlene Schmalz Nelson will celebrate their 63rd anniversary Tuesday March 12
|Bud and Arlene Nelson on their wedding day|
WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) -- Westbrook — Times were a lot different when Bud and Arlene were growing up back in the late twenties and thirties. Both grew up in the Westbrook area — Bud was raised in town, and Arlene was raised on a farm in Rosehill Township.
As a young girl Arlene started school in a one room school in Rosehill Township. After completing the eighth grade she went to high school in Westbrook. While she attended high school she stayed at different places in town. In the summer she returned to the farm to help out with the summer farming.
She graduated from high school in 1945 just as World War II was winding down. At that time Wade Lichty took over the local drug store which was located across the street to the south of the present Thrifty White Pharmacy. She began working for Lichty as a clerk and soda fountain worker.
Bud was raised in town and went to school through the eighth grade, and quit school to help his father. He helped out on his fathers farm west of town, and also helped out with the ice company his father owned. When he got old enough he also drove truck hauling cattle and hogs.
In the latter part of the war he signed up with the Army Air Corps and served a tour of duty in Calcutta, India. While there he was a military policeman, and also ran a ferry across the Ganges River transporting troops from one base to the other.
After serving four years he got out of the service returning home to work for his dad. A year later his dad died, and the family businesses were sold out. Then Nelson began trucking on his own hauling mail to the Cities. Later on he drove truck for Ole Kvilhaug for many years before retiring.
Meanwhile Arlene continued working at the drug store. She recalls working the soda counter on Sunday mornings. She said, “Bud and a couple of his buddies used to come in the store before church on Sunday morning, and they gave me such a bad time teasing me.” It wasn’t to long after that, that the couple began dating. When asked who made the first date, neither could really remember, but it ended up being a double date with another couple.
Back then the couple mostly went to the movies in Tracy. “They usually had better movies there than in Westbrook,” Arlene said.
About a year later Bud popped the question asking Arlene to marry him. Although neither one of them could remember the circumstances of the proposal. About a year later the couple were married on March 12, 1950 at First Trinity Lutheran Church in Westbrook.
Arlene said, “the day before the wedding we had a terrible snow storm. I didn’t know how we would get our wedding cake that Bernice Steen, south of town had baked, but we managed to get it.”
The wedding was an afternoon affair at First Trinity Lutheran Church, (now Grace Lutheran which they are still members). In the wedding party were: best man Harold Schmalz (brother of the bride); maid of honor Jeanette Sykora, friend of bride (they lived together during high school); groomsman Owen Masterson of Walnut Grove (brother-in-law); bridesmaid, Mrs. Omer Swenson (friend of bride); flower girl Janice Anderson (niece); ring bearer Douglas Schmalz (brides nephew -Schmalz’s named as major benefactor of the Schmalz Charger Greenhouse at WWG school.)
After the wedding there was a small reception for family and wedding party.
The couple took a wedding trip to Sioux Falls, and Omaha, but came back to watch a basketball tournament with the Westbrook Wildcats who were playing in the regional tournament at Mankato.
When the couple returned Arlene continued to work at Lichty’s and Bernie’s V Store, retiring from Thrifty White a couple of years ago. Bud retired from trucking in 1981. Bud and Arlene enjoyed camping and fishing and Bud used to duck and pheasant hunt. Today he enjoys driving around in his pickup which he maintains meticulously.
The couple enjoyed traveling and visiting their children and grandchildren. Several years ago the couple traveled to Los Angeles to attend a parade where their grandchildren from Brandon S.D. were performing. While there they did some site seeing and went to visit Disney Land. They also took trips to Florida and Oregon.
They have a daughter Ronda who is married to Mac Habicht of Willmar. Their grandchildren include Christel Schmidt of Sioux Falls, and Alicia and Mark Spindler of Andover. Step grandchildren Breanna and Josh Jenson of Willmar, Ahron and Leah Habicht of Mound. Five great grandchildren and many happy memories of their angel Ian
Spindler who they dearly miss.
When asked about the longevity of their marriage they both agreed “It takes a lot of give and take.” These days they are content to stay around home. Arlene said, “I still do cooking for the two of us, and we hope to stay here as long as we can.”
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