Sunday, October 26, 2014

Alice and Russell Shumway
by Jennifer Tomazic

BROOKFIELD -- A Brookfield couple recently celebrated 72 years of marriage and they say the key is saying 'I love you' and solving problems.

Alice met her husband, Russell, back in 1938 when he was in a polka band and she was an avid follower.

"He was flirting with me from the band stand and I was ignoring him," she recalled. "It went on quite awhile and finally he asked me for a date and I accepted and our first date was roller skating."

Two years later they were married in Oak Creek.

The Shumways spent five years enjoying their marriage and their first two children before Russell was drafted for World War II. He was never deployed but he spent a few months in Texas.

Alice says she was able to find enough money to take her and the kids down to meet him when he was able to leave.

"He just hugged us and wouldn't let us go because we hadn't seen him for awhile and it was good to see him again," said Alice.

The Shumways had their third child shortly after and they settled into a loving routine.

"Before he went to work in the morning, he'd kiss me and when he came home from work at night he would kiss me again," said Alice. "We'd go to bed at night and he never failed to say 'I love you' and he still does that."

The last few years, the Shumways have enjoyed volunteering at the VA Hospital, working with the American Legion, spending time with their 10 grandkids and 22 great grandkids.

For the last four years, they've also attended the Milwaukee Archdiocese Jubilee Celebration. It's a mass celebrating couples married for 25 years or 50+ years. The Shumways have them all beat with 72 years.

"You give hope and direction and promise to young people that they can look to you and what Catholic marriage looks like," said the priest giving the blessing at St. John Vianney in Brookfield.

Alice says the key to a good, long marriage is, "respect each other, communicate with each other and if you have a problem fix it."

Russell was 23 when they got married and Alice was 18.