11 couples named first members of Wisconsin Marriage Hall of Fame

Each of the couples inducted have been married for 65 years or more.
Hiram & Gretta Brown
Hiram & Gretta Brown(Wisconsin Family Council)
Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 5:36 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Eleven Wisconsin couples are proof that love is still alive and well after it was announced that they will be the first members inducted into the state’s Marriage Hall of Fame, the Wisconsin Family Council stated Monday.

Married couples in Wisconsin had the chance to apply if they had been married 60 years or more. As part of this inaugural group, the council put the cut-off at 65 years.

Hiram and Gretta Brown from Rice Lake will celebrate their 78th anniversary on March 25, making them the longest-married couple in the group. Their daughter said the couple met at a USO in Arkansas. The couple was married in 1943 and he was sent to Paris almost immediately, the council noted. He did not get to meet his daughter until she was nearly a year old.

After Hiram returned, the couple moved to Rice Lake. Hiram and Gretta, now 98 and 97 years old, gave this advice: “Stick it out!”

Also included in the list of honorees are a couple from Watertown, who have been married for 68 years, and a couple from Hustisford who will be married for 69 years this April.

Julaine Appling, president of WFC, said the agency was excited to launch the Marriage Hall of Fame in order to honor marriage itself and individual marriages that have gone the distance.

“Hearing from these couples whose marriages are examples of faithfulness and commitment in both the trials and joys of life is encouraging and is a reminder to younger married couples that having a marriage that lasts a lifetime is possible and is worth the work that goes into it,” Appling said.

Each couple will receive a framed certificate to recognize their induction. More couples will be honored next year.

Full list of couples:

  • Hiram and Gretta Brown from Rice Lake, married 78 years March 24
  • Elmer and Edna Georgeson from Camp Douglas, married 74 years
  • Marvin (Sr) and Janey Kuel, from Kewaskum, married 71 years
  • Paul and Laverne Franke, from Menasha, married 70 years
  • Clarence and Henrietta (Hennie) VanEssen from Waupun, married over 70 years (Clarence passed away earlier this month)
  • Jack and Katherine Hedlund from Grantsburg, married 70 years
  • Donald and Alice Roth from Hustisford, married 69 years April 4
  • Bill and Barbara Lincoln from Watertown, married 68 years
  • Levi and Patricia Snyder from Markesan, married 68 years
  • Otis and Bonnie Ostrander from Beaver Dam, married 67 years
  • William and Shirley Wilks from Elkhorn, married 65 years

Copyright 2022 WMTV. All rights reserved.