Karl and Isabelle Schumm were married Jan. 22, 1938. They are celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary on Sunday, 2-4 p.m. at Vancrest of Convoy. The public is invited. Please, no gifts. (Times Bulletin/Ed Gebert)
BY ED GEBERT
Times Bulletin Editor
CONVOY - It is a milestone that most couples never see. Karl and Isabelle Schumm will celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary on Tuesday. Yes, 75 years together. Officially, it is their Diamond and Gold anniversary. The couple are celebrating with a reception on Sunday at Vancrest of Convoy from 2-4 p.m.There will be another celebration upcoming as Isabelle turns 97 on Monday. Karl will hit 100 in August. The two were married back in 1938 in the parsonage of St. Thomas Lutheran Church on German Church Road. After the wedding, the couple went back home to begin married life together.
"We went to the grocery store and bought some groceries. We went home and she cooked a meal. That was our honeymoon!" Karl smiled.
The couple met in an unlikely way. Living just three miles apart, the two ended up on the same school bus route. "We went to Van Wert schools, and he got to drive the bus for me, " Isabelle said. "He was only 18. After that, they didn't let him do that. They wanted older people."
Karl laughed about that and noted that things were a little different back then. He was still in high school when he was hired to drive his bus. He also shared that bus driving was a paying job.
"I made a dollar a day going to school! That was pretty good money back then!" said Karl.
As the romance progressed, Karl began to think about marriage. He invested in a home in Convoy near the grain elevator on what is now St. Rd. 49. The house is gone now, but the memories remain.
"I owned half of it, but I didn't tell her," Karl remembered. "I showed it to her and asked her if she wanted to get married and live here with me. And she took me up on it! She was 22-years-old, a nice, hard-working, pretty young girl."
Over the years, the couple raised three sons and a daughter. The family remains close, having gathered on Saturday mornings for many years. Karl ran a chicken hatchery in Convoy in the location where the post office stands today. Isabelle also helped with the egg business.
In the 1950s, the Schumms moved out of town to a farm at the corner of Wolfcale Rd. and St. Rd. 49. There were still chickens to care for along with a few hogs and fruit trees. Eventually grandchildren entered the picture. Then great-grandchildren. Now the couple has nine grandchildren with one deceased, and 19 great-grandchildren.
The only thing that has been able to separate the Schumms is Isabelle's failing health. She has moved to Vancrest in Convoy to live. Fortunately, that is not very far from Karl. Although he no longer drives, Karl has a regular schedule to come to town and visit his long-time wife, including church services every Sunday.
"Appreciate your wife before she goes to the nursing home. Appreciate her while you have her," he emphasized. "We live apart now. Not living together, that's not good."
Aside from not driving, Karl gets around very well for a man nearing the century mark. He even still mows his own lawn. Sitting in the front room at Vancrest, Karl even sang the song from his confirmation at St. Thomas Church back in 1927 - in German - flawlessly.
As for the question that everyone seems to ask, how can anyone stay married for 75 years? Isabelle summed it up matter-of-factly.
"You just do what you do have to do every day and every week."