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Couples celebrate 50-plus years of marriage

Preparing to cut the cake at the 50th wedding anniversary celebration are (left to right) the youngest couple married at least 50 years, Max and Eileen Wakefield, of Cottage Grove, Bob Beard, Father Greg Esty and Rosemary Beard. The Beards were married at St. Thomas Aquinas Church 63 years ago. (Bulletin photo by Toni Lambert)

Fifteen years ago Doris McShea invited 32 people -- all married at least 50 years -- to celebrate their marriage with a Mass and lunch at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, in St. Paul Park. This year, she had nearly 90 people celebrating on Wednesday, July 14.

Couples are invited to the event as well as widows and widowers who were married more than 50 years.

Alice and Ken Talcott, 50-year long residents of Cottage Grove, met 61 years ago in Rochester while Alice worked at World Hospital and Ken was a patient. "I had to compete with all those other nurses," she said last week. The couple has three children, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

The secret to their long married life? "We're still in love," Alice Talcott said. "We take turns taking care of each other."

Joni and Harry Taylor met at a friend's house. "It's not hard to be married for a long time." She and Harry Taylor have been married 57 years. They've lived in Cottage Grove since 1959. "The time went by too fast," she said.

James and Audrey Schafer, who have lived in the same house in Cottage Grove for 50 years, were married twice -- once by a justice of the peace five days before James shipped out for Korea and again in church when he returned." "Marriage is a 50-50 situation; you have to give and take," Audrey Schafer said.

The celebration was supported by donations from Tinnucci's Restaurant in Newport, Kathy and Len Rumpca Kowalski's Market in Woodbury and the church, according to McShea.

-- Toni Lambert