When I asked Marian and Melvin how they met, the response I got was “Oh do you have a minute to sit down for this one?”. Marian told me that her friend had asked her to go meet up with her boyfriend at the time, which was Melvin. After meeting her friends boyfriend (Melvin), they both felt an immediate connection. Their first date was at a skating rink where they spent the evening rollerblading. Marian said she felt comfortable going out with him since they lived in a smaller town and her family knew his. Melvin was excited to say, “She chased me until she finally caught me”. Marian was quick to reply with, “That’s absolutely not true!”. They knew that they were the perfect fit for each other since they both had great families and connected so quickly when they first met. They both agreed that, “You don’t find too many men or women with good families”.
What did they do?
They both loved farms and quickly decided that’s where they wanted to raise their family. Marian and Melvin said, “You don’t make much money on a farm but it’s a great life and a great place to raise children”. They had three daughters and are so incredibly proud of them. Since their daughters grew up on a farm, Marian said, “They had chores and learned to do a lot of different things which have played a big role in their lives”. Marian said she knew they would live on a farm because Melvin used to always pick her up in an old truck that was filled with ground feed. On their farm they had everything from cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, and horses to cats and dogs. They would start their day early in the morning by waking up around 5 AM to milk the cows. Marian said, “What most people realize is that you don’t get paid by the hour, but instead by how much you would sell”. Besides farming, Melvin worked at a heating and plumbing business. He worked there for about 7 years. While Melvin did that, Marian was busy tending chickens and taking care of all the animals. She said that it is a full time job that you can’t just “leave work” and go home. There is always work that has to be done no matter what hour of the day it is. In addition to their animals, they had a big garden full of vegetables, and an orchard. For another source of income, they sold apples in the fall. They never had any down time and worked for everything that they owned.
After having different jobs, Melvin was offered a job at 3M in 1964. They decided that was a good move for their family even though they had to make the tough decision to leave the farm. The hardest part about leaving was that all they’ve ever known their whole lives has been farming. Melvin was offered a Shift Mechanic position repairing machines for electrical products. He stated, “I knew everything and had a background in this area since my dad taught me a lot about it”. After doing that for awhile, they both felt that they needed a change and decided to open a used car business together. After working hard for many years, this led them to retirement.
After being such hard workers their whole life, they decided that it was time to “retire”. They bought a place in Sanford, FL where they stayed for 18 winters. They couldn’t sit still there and decided that they would work for a retirement missionary home. They loved being able to help and give back to people that needed it. Marian would help out with the cooking and Melvin would make salads and wash dishes. They would serve around 25 people a day and worked two days on and had two days off. Both Marian and Melvin are very giving people and always put others’ needs in front of their own.
After enjoying the “retired” life, unfortunately Marian suffered from a brain tumor. Melvin said this was his time to drop everything and help her as much as he could. Before moving into Woodstone, Melvin had gotten sick and was told that he had COVID-19. COVID had affected him in many more ways than he thought it would which put him in the hospital for 18 days. This left Marian at home alone which was a huge adjustment for her. After Melvin had come back from the hospital, they decided that they wanted to make the move to Woodstone. Being at Woodstone allows them to be together and live safely. They both agreed that they wouldn’t be able to be at home without many issues arising on a daily basis. They are both so thankful that Woodstone allows them to be together and let their story continue together.