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Love that lasts: Longtime marriages have a touch of purple

Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014



MANHATTAN -- Roses are red and violets are blue, but purple may be the color if the love is true -- at least according to some Kansas State University alumni married nearly 70 years or longer.

Perry and Virginia Peine, Denver, Colo., met in the fifth grade at Manhattan's former Eugene Field Elementary School. Their relationship continued at Kansas State University, where the couple got engaged. Perry graduated in 1943, and Virginia in 1944. They were married on June 8, 1944.

"Never a doubt that Virginia was the one," Perry said.

While Perry was serving in the military overseas, Virginia taught school in Michigan. Once his service was completed, Perry was involved in city management in Abilene and Great Bend. His final occupation before retiring was as a general contractor in Denver.

The couple have three daughters and two grandchildren.

Perry credits several factors for the success of the couple's marriage.

"In our case probably what helped is that we had known each other for many years before marriage, raised children together, shared common backgrounds and interests, and we are still in love," he said.

The Peines have supported Kansas State University in many ways through the years, including with the Peine Gate, the southwest gateway to campus.

It will be 72 years of wedded bliss for Alden and Gwendolyn Miner, Ness City, in May. The couple met at a fraternity-sorority party at Kansas State University in the late 1930s.

Alden went on active duty with the Army Air Force after graduating in 1941. Gwendolyn, also a 1941 graduate, taught a year in Holyrood. Alden was stationed in California, so the couple decided to get married in Las Vegas on May 28, 1942. They lived in Glendale, Calif., where Alden taught for the Army Air Force and Gwendolyn worked at a bank. Two years later, Alden was transferred to Denver for a year and then to Salina.

When Alden got out of the service, the couple moved to Ness City, where his parents lived. He went to work with his father, who had an insurance and abstracting business. Gwendolyn taught high school for several years in Ness City.

After nearly 72 years of marriage, two sons and four grandchildren, Gwendolyn said the loves remains.

"Patience and consideration -- they are key to marriage," she said.

William and Mary Schroeder, Manhattan, will be married 75 years this fall. They met while in high school. Mary, from Hill City, had cousins in Colby -- and William just happened to be the best friend of one of those cousins. They continued dating throughout their college years. Mary came to Kansas State University to study dietetics, while William got a scholarship to Bethany College to study under the famous artist Birger Sandzen.

"We were pretty busy as college students. It was during the depression and the dust storms. When I wasn't in class, I was working," Mary said.

William decided that art wouldn't be a profession that would pay the bills, Mary said, so he transferred to Kansas State to study architecture and then art education. Mary graduated in 1938 and then served a one-year dietetics internship in New York. They got married on Oct. 8, 1939, one day after Mary returned to Kansas following her internship.

The couple settled in Colby and had two children. Mary enjoyed a long career in extension, starting as an extension home economist and becoming the area home economist for 21 northwest Kansas counties, which brought the couple back to Manhattan. The opportunity allowed William to finish his bachelor's degree at Kansas State University in 1968 and a master's in 1969. Mary also continued her education, earning a master's degree in 1968.

The couple are proud of the family's five generations of K-Staters, starting with Mary's grandmother, a Kansas pioneer and homesteader who attended Bluemont College, the university's forerunner. The Schroeders' granddaughter became the latest family member to earn a Kansas State University degree a few years ago.

News tip

Colby, Hill City,Manhattan and Ness City, Kan.; and Denver, Colo.


Download the following photo.

Virginia and Perry Peine

Virginia and Perry Peine, who will be married 70 years on June 8.

Written by

Beth Bohn

At a glance

It's Valentine's Day every day for three couples who have been married nearly 70 years or longer and are all alumni of Kansas State University.