Love’s lasting legacy
PIERZ — When Ervin and Louise Schubert took their wedding vows, they couldn’t have imagined how long their love affair would last.
That was Feb. 8, 1941, in the Catholic church in Harding.
Seventy years later, they remain together.
Through sickness and health. Through good days and bad. They worked hard on their family farm using horse teams — part Belgian/Clydesdale — for the effort. Along the way they raised five sons — Dave, Eddie, Gary, Alvin and Tim.
Lately, they’ve been asked what is the key to a successful marriage. Neither one thinks they have a good answer. They got along. They shared values of honesty and hard work. They don’t think they are special. They just lived their faith. They continue to attend mass every week.
“Take the bitter with the sweet,” Ervin said.
After seven decades, he said there have been more good days than bad. And having someone to share life’s burdens was welcome.
“I thought of that a lot of times,” Ervin said.
They grew up in the Harding area and met in school.
“She’s a couple of months older than me,” Ervin said. They said their love for each other wasn’t something that happened at first sight, but grew.
They enjoyed going to dances. Ervin said Louise is better at cutting a rug. While they worked hard on the farm, they helped each other carry the load instead of strictly dividing chores. Their sons grew up knowing how to wash the dishes.
Now Ervin and Louise, both age 90, they live at the Pierz Villa. They are proud of the family they created now measuring 15 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
When their sons were asked what they learned about love from their parents — they said their parents took their vows seriously, had a deep faith in God and working the farm kept them in touch with each other. They were caring and giving to their children and grandchildren.
Their sons said they learned how to pray and about the value of hard work. And they learned — even when things didn’t go well — pulling together through adversity brought them closer to each other.
“I think their faith kept them together,” Dave Schubert said of his parents. “They prayed a lot together.”
“I learned from my parents that working hard and being honest is the key to success in life,” Tim Schubert added. “That helping people, and looking out for their needs come before your own needs.”
In 2008, Louise suffered a stroke. She moved into the Pierz Villa and, in 2009, Ervin joined her there.
Their enduring affection for each other was evident in family photos from recent years. In one, Ervin is leaning over to gently plant a kiss on his wife’s cheek as she smiles. Undaunted by years, or perhaps because of them, the state of their union remains strong.
Bethany Schubert said her grandparents taught her to keep grounded by God, family, then friends.
“They taught us how important family is,” she said.
The Schubert sons agreed.
“I learned that when things go wrong in a family, we all pull together (like the teams of horses they owned) and become closer because of it,” said Gary Schubert. “I learned the virtues of hard work and honesty.”
Gary pointed to a story of his dad, years ago, needing a loan and without much collateral getting it from Ed Skone at Deerwood Bank simply on his word that he would pay him back.
“My folks never missed a payment. They taught me how to respect my elders, and when I may have disappointed them, they made me make amends somehow. You need to mow their lawn for that. Maybe the most important thing I learned from them is that when I turned 25, they became so much smarter.”
Alvin Schubert said: “Our parents believed that faith in God, hard work, honesty and family values were essential. Sure there were family disagreements, tight money, health issues, a few car and snowmobile accidents, runaway teams of horses and many other events. Through it all, when the chips were down, we could count on our family coming together — that’s what I remember most.”
A legend in the family came when Ervin was working in Utah. The Schuberts met a man there who noticed the Schubert’s young family, including an infant Eddie. The man, himself with daughters, noted the Schuberts had sons and he proposed a trade.
“I was shocked, really,” Ervin said of the offer. It’s a story he tells his son Eddie from time to time. His granddaughter Bethany asked him what Louise would have thought of such a bargain.
“Maybe we wouldn’t have made it 70 years,” Ervin said.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.