Alice and Lloyd Endreson's advice for long marriage: 'Give and take'
When Alice and Lloyd Endreson got married - Jan. 19, 1936 - the temperature outside was well below zero.
They have joked throughout their 72-year marriage that their wedding vows never thawed - thus keeping them together.
The couple initially met in elementary school at Fairview. Lloyd moved away but both ended up at Highview High School where they met again - looking much different than when they had last seen each other.
Alice's brother reintroduced the two high school'ers and they've been hanging around each other ever since.
For the past several years, Lloyd has resided at Sunset Knoll Care Center in Aurelia and Alice has been at home at Wel-Life in Alta.
Alice is more mobile and is able to get over to Aurelia, with the help of kind friends, Their visits are special. And on days they don't have the opportunity to see each other, they talk on the phone. They are still crazy for each other.
"We have a lot of memories," Alice said, "sad and good."
Their courtship included a great deal of dancing. Their favorite band to swing to was Lawrence Welk. They caught up with this popular band of the late 1920s and early 1930s at Peterson and also at the Cobblestone in Storm Lake.
And one of the most exciting adventures the couple had was attending the 1934 World's Fair held in Chicago. Alice's sister - Genivieve (Smith) who resides in Alta and Lloyd's cousin and wife made the trek in Lloyd's Model A. "It's something I'll never forget," Lloyd said.
It was two years later that the couple married. Alice was 23, Lloyd was 25.
Alice was adorned in a beautiful "boughten" royal blue velvet dress - it wasn't often during her young years that purchasing a dress at a store occurred. Lloyd was handsomely dressed in a new suit.
The wedding took place at the home Alice grew up in. Following the ceremony, the couple snuck outside for a few quick photos.
Alice said people have laughed over the years when they tell them the pictures were taken outside on such a cold day.
"Whoever heard of a flash back then," she pointed out.
The Endreson's have often laughed that it was so cold that their vows were frozen and they have never thawed out.
Their wedding trip, Alice laughed, consisted of driving her sister to her home following the celebration!
The couple farmed for 41 years, first with mules and eventually with tractors.
Lloyd loved farming and still proudly shares that he brought in 41 crops through the years.
Alice helped on the farm only a few times, making it apparent that she didn't have the corn-picking sense that would be profitable to the family after breaking an ear of corn in half and asking which one should be kept! She was nicely asked to spend her time in the kitchen.
And that, she said, was a huge job - especially after the couple had their family. There was always a large garden with canning in the fall and preservation of the other foods that today would be stored in a refrigerator or freezer.
The couple saw many changes over the years; they had no electricity while on the farm. When they retired and moved to Alta, they welcomed electricity - and Alice enjoyed having neighbors close by.
In later years, the couple enjoyed traveling and took part in many bus trips across the nation; some of the friends they made on the trips still correspond with the Endresons.
Alice passed time away crochetting - and still does - and Lloyd turned out some beautiful wood carvings.
When asked what made their marriage as solid as theirs is, both, at separate meetings, said it has always been "give and take."
Alice added it is also important to learn to forgive. Lloyd said he doesn't remember a time when they were "on the outs with each other."
The couple has four children - Gene (Sandy) Endreson, Jackson, Minn.; Jane (John) Jones, Omaha, Neb.; Jerry (Linda) Endreson, Kansas City, Mo.; and Keith (Pam) Endreson, Cedar Rapids. They also have 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
"They're all great," Alice said. "We're blessed with good kids and grandkids."
The couple misses being with each other but their love for each other is enduring.
"She's still my choice," Lloyd said.
"I've got a wonderful husband," Alice said. "I've told him that we just need to live our lives and then someday our souls will be together."
The couple's children are hosting a card shower for their parents. Cards may be sent to:
705 W. 7th St.
Alta, Iowa 51002