They met at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and went on their first dates in the month before graduation in 1949. When Al told a friend, “I’m going to miss her,” the friend replied, “Why don’t you marry the girl?” By December they were engaged. Chris worked that year in parish education for a church in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, while Al earned his master’s degree in music at the University of Iowa. They were married by Chris’s brother Rev. Paul Adix at her home church in Mansfield.
After a trip to Yellowstone and Glacier, they moved to Dows, Iowa, where Al had accepted a job as director of the school music program. The honeymoon period was short.
Al taught only nineteen days before being called up by the Army Reserve. He was fortunate in being selected to join “Take Ten,” a GI musical variety show with which he gave 154 performances to about 140,000 troops in Korea and Japan. In Sept. 1951, Al was reunited with his sweetheart at her parents’ home, met his four-month-old daughter Sharon, and resumed his position at Dows. Daughter Naomi was born in 1953. The family moved to Fergus Falls in August, 1954 and grew with the arrivals of Bruce (1955) and Ramona (1959).
Raising four children in a small house with one bathroom and one car was no small feat. Somehow they got everyone ready for church each Sunday, and off to school, rehearsals, lessons, shows and games during the week. In 30 years of teaching, Al conveyed his love of music to many students who still give him big hugs at FFHS reunions. A keen flower gardener, he was also a talented carpenter and woodworker who completed many projects at the East Everett house where they lived for 56 years.
Chris is a talented baker famous for her homemade bread, dinner rolls and her pies. Though a full-time homemaker while the kids were small, she was active in many women’s organizations and church programs. From 1965-1980 she worked as director of educational programs for First Lutheran Church.
After retirement in 1984, Al ran a furniture refinishing business, gave private music lessons to a few advanced students, and played oboe in the Carlisle Band and the Heart of the Lakes Band. Chris remained an active church volunteer and completed over 250 pieced “nap robes” that now warm hearts and laps from Maine to California. They drove thousands of miles around the U.S. and enjoyed several group tours to Europe as well as annual reunions with a close group of college friends. Avid readers, they have kept their minds sharp with regular Scrabble games, “Jeopardy,” and cultural events in town or in the Cities, as health allows. Chris was quick to adopt email and Facebook, and enjoys keeping in touch with loved ones. At Pioneer Pointe since 2010, they appreciate the sociable environment and thoughtful care provided – to say nothing of the freedom from snow removal and cooking.
Their 65 years together are celebrated with love and admiration by Sharon and Gary Nathan of Hayward, Wisconsin; Naomi Jacobs and Nathan Stormer of Bangor, Maine; Bruce Jacobs and Ann Jennen of St Paul; Ramona Jacobs and Chuck Christianson of Fergus Falls; granddaughters Sarah Nathan Bailey and Andy Bailey of Lincoln, Nebraska, with their sons Nathan and Jacob; Nicole Nathan and Chas Kadlec of Hayward, Wisconsin; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and friends.