EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
Bernard Boehm, 90, and Delores Boehm, 89, Marinette, have been married for 70 years.
EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
Bernard Boehm, 90, and Delores Boehm, 89, Marinette, have been married for 70 years.
MARINETTE — It’s not every day couples make it to their 50th wedding anniversary, and many celebrate the milestone with a party and a renewing of the vows. But Bernard “Bud” Boehm, 90, and Delores Boehm, 89, can boast an even higher number when the two celebrate their 70th anniversary later this month.
“We’ve had a very good life,” Bud Boehm said. “We feel very blessed that both of us have lived this long, and as you know that doesn’t happen too often.”
The two met at a roller rink called Skateland in high school in Aurora, Ill. Not long after, Bud Boehm became a radio man on a submarine chaser for the U.S. in World War II, serving for “three years, three months and three days.” After the war ended in Europe he was stationed in California, and while he was there the pair became engaged. Bud Boehm returned home to Aurora in February of 1946, and the pair married in a small ceremony with friends and family on July 27, 1946. Bud Boehm was 20 and Delores Boehm was 19.
The Boehms moved up to Marinette in 1953, where Bud Boehm opened MBK Sport Shop and Electronics on Main Street. The store, which Boehm originally opened with a friend in Aurora, primarily consisted of selling and installing television sets. The business moved up to Wisconsin because the two loved to hunt and fish, and Bud Boehm bought his friend out in 1972. Over the years he phased out the electronics, but the shop did well while the pair raised their six children: Judy, Janice, Joyce, Joe, Nan Jean and Jane.
“We stuck with the J names,” Delores Boehm said.
Delores Boehm worked at St. Joseph’s-Lloyd Hospital in Menominee as an office cashier for 22 years before the hospital consolidated with Marinette General and offered her a generous retirement. She still volunteers for half a morning one day a week at the Bay Area Medical Center gift shop.
“I really like it,” Delores Boehm said. “It gets me out of the house and I get to talk to people I used to work with.”
“Otherwise, I just sit and knit all day,” she added with a smile.
Bud Boehm retired from running the sport shop in 1994 at 68 years old, selling the store to another couple who ran it for another 11 years before selling it again. The store closed five years after that.
Over the years, the Boehms traveled together out of the country and even lived down in Florida for 20 years during the winter months, making many friends along the way.
“The reason we stopped is that as you get older you want to be closer to your kids,” Bud Boehm said.
The Boehm children have scattered around the Midwest to Eau Claire, Wis.; Kiel, Wis.; Wallace; Westerville, Ohio; and Marinette and Menominee, and the family has significantly expanded. Bud and Delores Boehm now have 14 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren to go with their six children.
The family is planning on celebrating the anniversary with a picnic on Stephenson Island.
According to Bud Boehm, the secret to a long marriage is that “we each gave 110 percent, and another thing we always thought about was never going to bed mad. When you get up in the morning, the anger is still there.”
As far as planning for the future, the couple takes life one day at a time.
“We’ve been very lucky and we both know that we’re blessed to be living this long and be together this long,” Bud Boehm said.