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Photos by Frank Prager
Leo and Dorothy Strohbeck will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on September 20th at the Fosterburg Baptist Church.
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The year Leo and Dorothy Strohbeck were married, Franklin Roosevelt was still president of the United States, “Casablanca” won the Oscar for Best Picture and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the St. Louis Browns in the World Series.
The Strohbecks will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 20. When asked if they think the marriage will last, Leo replies with a laugh, “We’re gonna give it a try.”
The Strohbecks live north of Fosterburg in a house they built more than 50 years ago and where they raised their two sons, Jim and Larry. Their family includes four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, spanning five generations.
The couple’s first date was to the Fosterburg town picnic on Sept. 20, 1941. Three years later to the day, they were married at the Fosterburg Presbyterian Church. Upbeat and engaging as they discuss their lives together, they still seem as young in spirit as they were on that first date.
Leo has farmed his entire life and also worked as a mail carrier for 25 years. He still works on his property. He notes keeping his creek cleared out and the grass mowed keeps him outdoors a lot. Dorothy’s immaculate home is testimony to her longtime skills as a homemaker.
The changes the couple have witnessed over the years have been significant. Leo recalls working the farm fields with draft horses when he was young. Dorothy points out when they first moved into their house, electricity had not yet even come to the area.
The couple has been a cornerstone of the community for the past seven decades. Generations have grown up knowing the Strohbecks as reliable friends and neighbors who will be there in any time of need. When asked what stands out to them about their marriage, they say they have so many memories from over the years that it’s hard to single out any one event.
Leo notes they took yearly family vacations when their sons were growing up but always had to schedule them around the farm work. Later, the couple drove all the way to Alaska to see their son Jim while he was stationed there in the Army. Dorothy smiles as she notes that both of their sons live within sight of their house and the couple’s entire family is a big part of their lives. Still active, they take drives regularly and like to eat out.
The Strohbecks will observe their anniversary with a celebration from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Fosterburg Baptist Church. They have requested guests do not bring gifts but look forward to seeing all of their friends and neighbors from over the years.
It has been said a wedding anniversary is a celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and determination. The order of those things just varies for any given year. Regardless of how long you have been married, the 70-year union of Leo and Dorothy Strohbeck can serve as a blueprint for any couple in how to build a meaningful, enduring relationship.