Secret to a happy marriage? ‘Be patient, forgive, pray!’
By DARLENE DEMEL
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.