A long lifetime together

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 3:17 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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AMBERG, Wis. (WBAY) - A Marinette County couple is approaching a milestone most people never reach; 75 years of marriage.

This past weekend, friends and family gathered to celebrate with Don and Gloria Persinger.

“It has been a tremendous life, you can’t ask for anything better,” says Gloria.

Looking at photos from their weekend anniversary celebration brings back all kinds of memories for the couple, including the night they met at a roller skating rink in Milwaukee.

“That night one of her friends came over and said which sailor do you want and I said I’ll take that one right there with the red hair, when he had beautiful red hair, it was just gorgeous,” says Gloria.

The attraction was mutual.

“We got to know each other and then while I was still at Great Lakes we were writing letters, and then when I got liberty we’d meet and go out on a date,” recalls Don.

In early 1947, wedding bells rang.

“After he went to Japan and he took one step into the United States, he called me and said, ‘let’s get married,’” says Gloria.

After Don’s service in the Navy, he spent 30 years as a high school metal fabrication and welding teacher in Milwaukee.

During the summers, the Persingers pitched a tent all over the country and Canada, which proved beneficial after Don retired and they moved to their property in Amberg.

For six years, they roughed it.

“Without power or water, and we proved it can be done,” says Gloria.

At both 94 years old, Don and Gloria still live in their Amberg home.

“The key I say is keeping busy, cause since I retired 30-some years ago, I haven’t sat down and did nothing but more than 15 or 20 minutes,” says Don.

As for the key to nearly 75 years of marriage?

“Maybe we kept it exciting a little bit, I mean we kept it interesting,” explains Gloria.

And while Gloria is determined there will be an 80th wedding anniversary to celebrate, Don isn’t so sure.

“We’re gonna play it one day at a time, right now we’re almost at the point of getting a divorce because it’s getting tough,” says Don with a chuckle, only joking of course.

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