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Secret to a happy marriage? ‘Be patient, forgive, pray!’


   Editor’s Note: The following article originally appeared in the Spirit of St. Joseph newsletter. It is reprinted with permission.

CLAFLIN — What   does   it   take   to   have   a   long, successful marriage?

   “Be patient. Forgive. Pray!”

These are the perfect words spoken from  Mary  Rose  Oberle  when she  was asked  what  advice  she  could give  young couples today.

This sentiment comes from 64 years  with  the  same man by  her  side. We  wanted  to  know  how  and when  it  all started.

In 1953, Dwight D. Eisenhower was president; “Gentlemen  Prefer  Blondes” and “Shane” were playing at the box office, while “That’s  Amore” and “Crying  in  the  Chapel” were on the radio.

The first TV Guide was published, and Sir Edmund Hillary was the first man  to  crest  Mount  Everest.

However, back  in  our  small  part  of  the  world,  Victor Oberle and Mary Rose Wondra  were  starting  their life together at Holy Family Catholic Church in Odin.

Victor was born the seventh child of   Anton  and   Lena   (Feist) Oberle,  and attended  Holy Name  School  near  Bushton before  serving in  the  Army from  1950  to  1952.

Mary Rose came  along the  third of 10 children born to Alfred and Regina (Kirmer) Wondra; she graduated from Odin High School in 1952.

Fund-raising  dances  at  the  Holy  Family  parish  hall  were  a common  occurrence  in  the  1950s.  On  one  fateful evening, Victor — with his “Bushton Boys” (including Urban and Paul Oberle plus Willis Bieberle) — drove over to check things out ... and the rest is history.

April 14, 1953: It was a chilly, cloudy Tuesday morning when Father  Cornelius  Leunissen  united  the  pair,  with Paul Oberle  and Leo  Wondra  standing  for  Victor,  while  Ann  and Rita  Wondra, in  long  dresses (one  in  light  green  and  one  in lavender), stood  beside  Mary  Rose, holding her  red  rose bouquet.

The   couple   honeymooned   in   Denver   before returning to their little house in Ellinwood where Victor worked in the oilfield.  They only lived in Ellinwood for about two years before moving to Claflin to raise their family in the same house that they still live in today at the corner of Albro and 3rd Street.

Victor  worked  for 20 years  at Tinkel  Sand  before  starting Oberle Sand & Gravel in 1977, while Mary Rose worked at the local  grocery  store and then at the Claflin Post Office.

Although both have long been retired, Mary Rose still volunteers for the ICC (Immaculate Conception Church) Altar   Society,   the   Claflin Community Senior Birthday Coffee,   and   The   Red   Cross Bloodmobile  when  it  comes  to town. She  also  enjoys  spending her free time doing  embroidery and word puzzles, while  Victor likes a quiet game of solitaire or a round of checkers.

For so many   years, you would   see Victor riding his bike around town getting exercise and enjoying the weather. I seem  to  remember times  when I  thought  he  was crazy because it wasn’t  that warm outside!

The couple has  been blessed with four children: Richard, Patty, Ray, and Christine.

The  family tree has since grown to include 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Patty and Dave  Schmidt’s family includes Tami (Christopher) Tully, Eric (Denise) Schmidt, and Travis  (Shelli)  Schmidt. Great-grandchildren include Madison, Gavin, Justin and Ethan Tully; Maryn and Rhett   Schmidt; and Madison Henning, McKenna and Marissa Schmidt.

Ray and Sandi Oberle’s branch of the family tree includes Emily (Hunter) Peterson,   Nicole (Tyler) Ball, Rebecca Oberle,  Kaylyn  Oberle,  and  Jake  Oberle.  Great-grand-children include Kaycee, Elliott, and Tate Peterson; and Samuel Ball. Christine and  Quentin  Robl  reside  in  Salina and have three children: Megan  Robl,  Jared  (Ashley)  Robl,  and Tanner Robl.

Unfortunately,   their oldest   child,   Richard,   passed   away July 21, 1974 at the age of 20 when he was in the service.

Mary  Rose offered  words  of  guidance, suggesting that one should make  the best  of  every  day.

When  I  pressed  Victor  for  his  words  of advice for young couples, he replied with an ornery grin, “Fight. Ask me how many fights we’ve had!  One – and it’s still going on!”

After the laughter quieted down, Mary Rose told me I not dare put that in the article ... but I knew I had to include it, because it proved to me that maybe one of the best pieces of advice they  have  shown (by  example!) was to keep humor in your life.

Diocese of Dodge City

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