WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     westbrook —  For most married couples 50 years is a major milestone in their lives, and 60 years is less common. But when you celebrate 70 years, or beyond, it is quite a bit more significant.

    Stanley Madson and Ruth Erickson were married at Immanuel Baptist Church, Westbrook, MN November 15, 1945 just after the end of World War II.         

    Both were born in the area in 1921, Stanley was born on the farm northwest of Storden where his parents farmed. Ruth was born on her parents farm between Westbrook and Dovray. Stanley went to school in Storden and later worked as a hired hand for his dad. Ruth went to elementary school at Old Dovray District 97, and then to Westbrook High School where she graduated.



    Stanley continued working for his dad and rented a nearby eighty to farm.         

    Right  after the attack on  Pearl Harbor Stanley  enlisted in the Air Force, and served for about 2 years.  He was stationed at Fort Crook, Nebraska, and then at MacDill Air Force base in Florida. Stanley drove truck during his service.  Stanley had a back injury in an accident, and while he was recuperating his dad had serious heart problems, so Stanley was discharged early in 1943 to go back and help his dad on the farm.

    After that the couple met when Stanley went to the Erickson farm to work on the silo. Ruth said, “he was the only one who would climb the ladder on the outside of the silo to put in some piping. I was home for the weekend  while working at the Pipestone hospital.” Of course the couple had known each other before that, but something must have sparked the couple as they began a two year  plus courtship.

    The couple dated mostly going to house parties, and in the winter they went ice skating and sliding in the area around Dovray.

    They both said, “at the time during  the war gas was pretty scarce so with rationing we were not  able to travel very far.”

    At the time Ruth was busy working for her nursing certificate taking courses from Dr. Valentine at Tracy. The classes were through the Lawrence Nursing School of Michigan. “I took classes from him and other doctors in the area at the time,” she said.

    After their marriage the couple took a short honeymoon trip to Iowa where they stayed with Ruth’s cousin who lived north of Algona.

    After they were married the couple bought an eighty west of Dovray and lived there a short time before moving to the Herb Herrlinger farm next to Stanley’s dad’s farm.

    Due to Stanley suffering from his injured back, he was not able to continue farming.  At that time they sold the eighty and moved to Westbrook where they continued to live until they entered the Good Samaritan  Home  in Westbrook about three or four years ago.

    After they quit farming Ruth continued to work at the Schmidt Memorial Hospital until she retired in  the eighties.

    Stanley held numerous jobs ­— truck  driving, auto sales at Steffen Chevrolet and Hemmingsons in  Tracy. He started working at Toro in Windom repairing  lawn mowers and snow blowers that did not pass inspection. In 1982 he retired from Toro, and expanded his lawn and snow blowing service and repair until about 2012 when the couple entered the Good Samaritan Home after Ruth suffered a broken leg.

    When they were at home Ruth says, “I enjoyed gardening, canning, and baking. The kids always enjoyed coming home from school to have some fresh baked rolls and cookies.”

    Stanley in the mean time loved working on small engine repair doing tune ups, and sharpening blades. He also served as deacon and trustee for many years at the church.

    Stanley recalled one time when he had  an accident south of Storden.  “Several of us men were headed to a church meeting in Worthington when we were t-boned in a crash that threw me out of the car and  I received a lot of injuries,” said Stanley.

    After that his doctor recommended he take a month  off and leave town to recuperate. So they drove to Oregon and stayed there for a month with the  Pastor that had married the couple.

    When asked about their longevity, they both stated, “the Lord has been  good to us, He has blessed us in so many things. We worked hard during our marriage.  We really enjoyed raising our five children, and we enjoyed going to visit them and the  grandchildren.”

    Their children are John and Linda (Paplow) of Westbrook, Sharon (Bruce) Higgs of Greenville, South Carolina, JoAnn (Douglas) Nelson of Lincoln, Nebraska, Joyce (Richard) Parsons of Greenville, South Carolina, David (Shelly) of Greenville, South Carolina.

    Stanley and Ruth have nine grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

    A celebration is planned to honor the couple Saturday, October 31 at the Westbrook Senior Center from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. No gifts are requested.