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Menomonee Falls couple celebrates 70th wedding anniversary

Menomonee Falls residents Bob and Margaret Newman are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary June 8.

Menomonee Falls residents Bob and Margaret Newman are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary June 8. Photo By Danielle Switalski

May 28, 2013

Menomonee Falls — For Margaret and Bob Newman, love has lasted a lifetime.

The Menomonee Falls couple will celebrate their 70th anniversary on June 8. For Bob, the secret to staying together all of those years is compromise, using common sense over the little things, and understanding that a relationship is 50/50.

"In marriage, you have fights once in a while, but you use common sense over subtle things. I would say that normally we had a nice marriage, little arguments here and there, but who doesn't? And most of that was over the kids, you know?" Bob said laughing. "I have to blame it on someone."

In the end, he said "It's give and take."

Margaret, 90, was the only girl Bob, 93, ever dated. She was 20-years-old when they tied the knot at St. Anthony in Menomonee Falls. He was 23. They have four children: Karen Willborn, Ruthann Kastello, Bob "Rock" Newman Jr. and Kathi Ericksen, all of whom were married at St. Anthony. They have nine grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

A look back

The Newmans history shows a glimpse into the history of Menomonee Falls.

Margaret's family's farmland used to sit in the town of Menomonee. The land is now part of the village of Menomonee Falls and is home to a subdivision. Margaret's family, the Schmitz, owned more than 90 acres of a homestead. Margaret helped on the farm throughout her child and adult life. She woke up early to milk the cows, go to school and came home to milk the cows once more.

The rewards of hard work were instilled in their children, Kathi said.

Margaret still lives on a piece of that land that has been in her family since before 1872.

In 1992, pieces of the land were sold and developed into the subdivision that now sits on Mill Road.

Bob was working with a neighboring farm when the two met in 1939. He remembers harvesting crops with horses, during the "horse and buggy days" when he saw three girls hauling crops. Bob went over and talked to them. The two were married a few years later on June 8, 1943, and had their reception at the Nightingale, a ballroom in Menomonee Falls that is no longer standing.

During service, couple stays together

Though Margaret's family owned the farmland her entire life, her dad rented the farm out in 1942, the same year Bob enlisted in the service. Before enlisting, Bob worked for Gettelman Brewery, which was eventually bought by the Miller Brewing Company.

After basic training, Bob was assigned to the Marsh Air Force base near Riverside, Calif.

"I worked on airplanes, but I never had to go overseas," he said. "I was pretty fortunate."

The newlyweds did not let circumstances stop them from seeing each other. Margaret was able to take a train to California, where she worked at a dime store. Bob was eventually moved to Palmdale, Calif., and ultimately Ontario, with Margaret beside him every step of the way.

"When we got married, we finally found a room in Ontario and there were four of us women that would cook on one stove at the same time, each one had a burner," she said, chuckling. "You cook one thing, take it off, cook the next thing."

Bob got out of the service Dec. 7 1945, a few months after Margaret gave birth to twins, Ruthann and Rock.

"Mom didn't know she was having twins and he passed out when he got the telegram," Ruthann said.

When the couple came back to Wisconsin, eventually Bob and Margaret's father began to farm the land once more. The Newman family worked on that land for decades after, Margaret and Bob staying together the whole way.

"It's really wonderful, we're just so proud of them," Ruthann said.

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