Story of couple’s long love comes to end…and a new beginning

About three years ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing a couple that was celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary. It was for Mabel and Leonard Fluckiger, who lived in Monticello, where I was the newspaper editor.

Mabel and Leonard were one of the most charming couples I’d ever met, and they seemed to be best of friends on that day I visited them at their home. It felt like an honor for me to be able to sit down and chat with them and have them share their life story to me.

After talking with them, it was time to take a picture to go with my story. But having them stand there smiling at the camera just seemed…well…posed. So I asked them to give each other a kiss, and I would try to capture that moment. After kissing, they giggled at each other, like they had just met.

THAT was the moment, right afterward! So I asked them to smooch again, this time waiting for the split second afterward. They giggled, smooched and laughed a bit harder this time, and I captured it! (Being a novice photographer, I of course relied on the auto-focus, which honed on on the door behind them rather than them. But they weren’t so out of focus that you couldn’t see them, and if anything it softened the picture a bit.)

What you could see were great big smiles and laughs from Mabel and Leonard as they looked back at me. That made my day, and that really captured their essence.

I haven’t hada chance to catch up with them since doing that story, but I do recall being sad when I saw the obituary for Leonard a while later. I can’t remember for sure, but some health problems caused him to have to move in to a nursing home, and it was there that he died.

Sometime after that, I did another story about the regulars who played cards at the senior dining program, and that was when I saw Mabel again. We remembered each other, and I told her how sorry I was to hear about Leonard. Despite losing him, she appeared to be doing well otherwise, enjoying the company of her fellow card players.

Fast forward to this week, when I saw her obituary too. Again, I’m sad to see that she’s left us as well, but I am happy that she’s reunited with her husband.

Below is the text of my original story about their anniversary. I copied it from a PDF file I have of the page, but was unsuccessful in showing the page on this post. I would have liked to share their picture with you too! (If anyone has any advice on adding a PDF image, I’d certainly welcome it. I tried to follow the directions here but it didn’t work. Thanks!)

Here’s an image of the page, and the story is below:

 

My story of Leonard and Mabel's 75th wedding anniversary

My story of Leonard and Mabel's 75th wedding anniversary

 

 

 

 

 
Fluckigers to celebrate diamond anniversary 

 By David Lee

Express Editor

MONTICELLO – Laughter has filled the Leonard and Mabel Fluckiger household for almost 75 years.</
And in less than two weeks the laughter will probably reach a crescendo when the couple celebrates their 75th anniversary

“75 years doesn’t happen very often,” Mabel said
It all started when Leonard asked Mabel to go roller skating with him. They went to the rink together for a few years before the courtship truly began, Mabel said.
“One night we walked home, and there we were,” Mabel said. “And here we are.”
They dated a year before getting married. They couldn’t remember how Leonard proposed, but “he didn’t wait that long,” Mabel said.
Leonard is 95 and Mabel is 94. They got married on Sept. 27, 1930 at the Catholic Church in Monticello, and then moved into their house on Linden Street, where they still remain.
Leonard and Mabel both worked most of their lives in Monticello. Before television’s arrival, the Fluckigers often had friends over to play cards, or went out to dances, Mabel said.
The Fluckigers also became avid golfers. They joined the Monticello Golf Club in 1942, and Leonard has even had five holes-in-one through the years.
“We worked like the dickens, then we’d run home, change and head for the golf course,” Mabel said.
The Fluckigers have a daughter, La Vonne, who is married to Dean Willwerth. Also in the family are three grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
The clan covers several states. “We’re all over,” Mabel said.
The couple retired in 1975 and spent 13 weeks in Europe with La Vonne and Dean, who was stationed in Germany at the time, Mabelsaid. The Fluckigers traveled around Europe and tried to learn about their family histories; Mabel’s family was from Germany while Leonard’s was from Luxembourg.
The two are now enjoying life back in Monticello, watching a lot of golf, baseball and football on TV. They’re Cubs fans, and “we never miss (the) Iowa (Hawkeyes),” Mabel said.
For their anniversary celebration, La Vonne and Dean will come to Monticello on Sept. 24. Also coming are three grandchildren, Mabel said. Mabel said their daughter probably has a surprise dinner reservation planned for them, just as she had for their 70th anniversary.
So what’s the secret to staying together so long? Mabel repeated a reporter’s question to Leonard, who is hard of hearing
“He wanted to know the secret to you staying with me for 75 years,” she told him.
“Good cook!” Leonard replied, and the two shared another laugh.
Both said they couldn’t believe that they actually have reached their 75-year anniversary, and they do not know anyone else who hasreached this milestone. Both have been able to stay very healthy and active, and still play golf, Mabel said.
“I hope that it can be 100 (years married), as good as I feel now,” Leonard said.

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~ by davidllee on December 12, 2008.

2 Responses to “Story of couple’s long love comes to end…and a new beginning”

  1. In times when couples struggle to be together for a couple of years this couple is a real example of what a relationship should be. It is said that the best couples are often the best pals so were they. But sadly the relationship was finally broken, not by themselves but by fate. All my compassion with Mabel. I applaud the efforts by this online obituary website to bring to fore this news.

  2. In an age where the couples find in it tough to stay together for a couple of years, this couple had spent 75 years together. It is really exemplary for all couples today. It is said that best couples are those that are the best pals and this is portrayed in the relationship between Mabel and Leonard Fluckiger. The death of Leonard Fluckiger is really a sad incident, I offer my sympathy to Mabel through this obituary website.

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