Couple celebrates 70 years of marriagePublished 10:54am Thursday, June 6, 2013
They have lived in Wisconsin and Minnesota, across the country in Utah, Washington and California, but for 70 years, they have been together.
David and Ardis Anderson celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary today, and both said their marriage is only better with age.
David grew up in Elbow Lake and met Ardis, who was raised in Onalaska, Wis., one of 16 children, when his aunt married her brother.
The couple recalled a strong mutual interest when they first met and eventually fell in love. David once sat out a basketball game because of his poor performance with Ardis there to watch.
“Somebody asked if that was my girlfriend up in the stands,” David said. “They told me I might as well sit down because I sure couldn’t play well with her up there.”
Despite being three years older — she is 93 and he is 90 — Ardis thought they would have a good life together. Their shared values have kept the marriage strong.
“I was older than he was but I thought he was a pretty nice fellow,” Ardis said. “He was a Christian and that’s what I was looking for.”
The two have even crossed heritage lines –– Ardis’s family is Norwegian and David’s is Swedish. Ardis stands by her decision, however, and said that if not a Norwegian, a nice Swedish boy will certainly do.
David worked with plaster and cement and followed war construction early in his career. The couple moved back to Elbow Lake and eventually to Fergus Falls in 1955. He worked for Otter Tail Power for 16 years before his retirement. Ardis was a longtime employee of Service Food.
The two raised five children in the area. They now have 12 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.
“I didn’t try to outdo my mother,” Ardis laughed. “It’s unbelievable we’ve lived long enough to see so many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”
“I can’t keep track of them,” David said with a hearty smile.
As for tips to newlyweds, the couple kept their advice simple.
“Love each other and be honest … Trust in the Lord and have him lead you. That’s about the best you can do,” Ardis said. “And find a younger man.”
“Take it one day at a time,” David said. “We live one day at a time and are good to one another.”
Through the many years of ups and downs, good times and bad, that advice has held true.
“We’ve seen a lot of things, a lot of changes in this world, from horses to trains and airplanes,” Ardis said. “We feel we’ve done a pretty good job with the Lord’s help.”
The Andersons will have a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Sheridan House Apartments to celebrate the anniversary.