Robert is 96 years old. He is a World War II veteran, and a lifelong resident of Osgood, IN. He had stayed in his current house for 50 years, the house he moved in with his late wife, Wilma Day.
How they met
“We first met when we started school in 1929, but we didn’t marry until we were 45 years old. We had 47 great years together. After school, we went our separate ways, and actually she was a Rosie the Riveter on B24’s up in Michigan. I spent 38 months in the army at World War II. I was stationed basically in North Carolina - Fort Bragg, Camp Davis, Camp Butner, and Camp Atterbury where I was discharged on March 16, 1946. I was under ‘limited service’ during that time. We met again in Osgood where I worked at the post office and she, in the Triplett’s Drug Store. We would see each other everyday. She worked there for 29 years, and I worked in the post office for 30 years.”
“When my wife was living, we did a lot of traveling. We visited 43 states. Just seeing the United States, it broadens your education, so to speak, and I’ve always loved history and geography. Traveling breaks up the routine of daily life.”
Do you miss her?
“Everyday. I never get over it. She ended up with Alzheimer’s and was in the nursing home for three months before she passed. I visited her everyday even though she didn’t recognize me. She was 92. We had a nice life together. After her death in 2015, I made a book about her - it has nothing but all her pictures in it.”
Secret to a successful marriage
“Respect one another. Also, she was easy to get along with.”
Carl & Katherine, married for 30 years.
Both laughed out loud simultaneously. “We went to Cumberland Falls State Park and I asked her, “You gonna marry me or what? She said she would. It was very romantic. Ha.”
Secret to a successful marriage
Katherine “For me, I think it’s our ability to be independent of each other. We have both taken vacations with other people at different times, or by ourselves. It’s good to be able to stand on your own and be able to appreciate time by yourself.”
Carl “Yes, I think that is a big part of it, at least for me. We are independent of each other as well as having together time. And trust each other enough that it’s not a problem. We just think it’s part of living together.”
Advice for newly weds?
“Spend time apart from each other, especially during stressful times.
Be patient with each other. Don’t let money control you and how you deal with life. Enjoy experiences together, rather than buying a lot of things.
Joe & Anne, married 28 years.
In middle school, little Joe Raver told his teacher, Steve Gutzwiller, that Anne was the one he wanted to marry…an innocent love story which Steve remembers til today.
Joe “Yeah, she’s been the love of my life, my whole life. Since second grade, then third grade…on and off in the early years. Well, more on than off after 26 years of marriage. We were boyfriend and girlfriend in third grade, and then again in eighth grade, and then in our senior year in high school. Though we went to different colleges, we coincidentally had the same college quarter breaks. I moved to New York after college, and Anne moved to Cincinnati. I convinced her to move to New York, then we got engaged and married there and we lived all over the place - New York, Chicago, Columbus (OH), Minneapolis and Zurich, Switzerland.”
Joe “I think it’s biology - I always thought she was beautiful.”
Anne - “He was smart and athletic. I love his hair. He was tall, I was tall, we actually stood next to each other in school coz we were both so tall. I remember for our first communion at St. Louis school, Joe had a big bow tie on and I had a little rose garland on my head. We were standing together at the back in the class picture.”
Secret to a successful marriage
Joe “Always say “I Love You” and “Thanks”, and not forget all the great things and all the things you love even when times are hard.”
Anne “We were both interested in the challenge of moving to different cities. We’re both adventurous and were willing to take risks and make the most of what will happen. Being open minded - we’ve both grown through all the different opportunities. We love the challenge and love to learn.
We were always the two kids who wanted to get out of Batesville to go far away. But we always ended up coming back.”
Steve Gutzwiller is a retired Biology teacher from Milan High School, even though he is a Batesville resident.
”About 15 years ago, I heard the story which goes back 100 years, about a German farmer who planted Catalpa trees near the ballpark at Huntersville Road in Batesville. He did it so that decades later, parents are able to enjoy watching ball games under the shade trees. That story stuck in my mind. When my little boy who went to Milan elementary school played ball at the park, and I went to watch him play, there wasn’t a single tree on the property. You just sat there and get baked. So I remembered the story of that farmer and decided to plant trees at the Milan ball park.”
To cut the story short, on March 16, 2015, with the help of his students, former students and friends, namely Tim Schwipps and Jeff Meinders, they coordinated funds and man power to realize Steve’s tree planting dream. Unfortunately, Steve suffered a stroke in the classroom on that same day and wasn’t present to witness the event.
”I didn’t lift a finger. I didn’t plant any of those trees. I just had everything set up. So when I got out of surgery a couple of days later, I asked, ‘What about my trees?’ and Principal Ryan Langferman told me, ‘Gutz, it’s all done!’ ”
On October 2015, Steve won the Indiana Urban Forest Council Outstanding Individual of the Year Award, but he was not able to receive the award in person as he was still recovering from the stroke.
“I came to Batesville 12 years ago. This is my husband’s hometown, so we decided it is a good place to raise our children. We have two sons; eldest was 3 years old and the youngest was 6 weeks old. Batesville reminds me of Kyoto, my hometown. Both are small, quiet and people are friendly. I like that.
Initially, it was a bit of a struggle – everything was new, I wasn’t able to converse well in English, and I don’t have any Japanese friends. I was into my fifth year when I met another Japanese lady at the YMCA, and she introduced me to Ai Brown. The three of us met often after that for lunch. That was nice, but everybody is busy with their own lives.
When my youngest entered preschool, I had a lot more time for myself. I tried working part-time in various places, but they were not fulfilling for me. So I decided to relearn Japanese calligraphy, which I’ve learned when I was in school back in Kyoto. My skills improved tremendously. I sold some of my work at Etsy, but I yearn to have human interaction in what I do. I wanted to teach calligraphy, and opportunities came when I opened a small studio in Montgomery, OH. As more people knew about my teachings, my class grew. Recently I was asked to teach one class at the University of Cincinnati. They liked it so much that they offered me to teach there. So I am starting the summer classes soon. It has been a wonderful journey.”
Ziwei emigrated to Osgood, IN with her mother, Linda, in June 2010. They were from Shenyang, China. Initially, she spoke little English and required the help of a pocket translator.
She persevered and emerged as the co-valedictorian of her graduating class of 2017 from Jac Cen Del High School.
”I am most determined. Since I came here, there were a lot of changes to adapt to - new environment, people and culture. I learned from an early age the important of accepting change for the better, and to never give up and never stop trying until I am proud of myself.
I was very honored to be the co-valedictorian of my graduating class of 2017 from Jac Cen Del High School. I have never imagined myself to be number one in class. I am not local and I’m bilingual. When I first moved here, I didn’t know much English but I was determined to be the best and not settle for less. For me, the only way to make myself happy and content is to be the best version of myself. My next goal is to get my degree in electrical engineering from Purdue.”
Linda “I am so very proud of her!”
Pat Hicks is a celebrated harpist, a music teacher, and a history buff who lives in a house in Napoleon, which is 165 years old. She is also the instrumental drive behind the restoration of Ye Olde Central House in Napoleon. Most of all, she has the most colorful personality and a big heart.
”My friends call me ‘Sunshine’ or ‘Morning Glory.’ I like all those names because I dress in colors!
Monday is Purple.
Tuesday is Pink.
Wednesday is Blue.
Thursday is Aqua.
Friday is Green.
Saturday is Red.
And Sunday is a surprise!”
”I worked as a tax accountant for many years and became interested in clocks through one of my clients. I ended up buying the clock shop from him. This is in Aurora, CO. I kept that shop for 16 years, while continued working in accounting until we moved to Milan in 1994. At that point, I’ve basically retired but still played with antiques and clock repairing.
I like the whole process of repairing clocks - one thing leads to another and to another - the gear meshes and turns and pushes something, to make something else turn, and it works its way up the train of gears and pretty soon, you have time. I’ve always been mechanical. When I was a child, my grandfather repaired Singer sewing machines and I used to go with him on service calls and watch him work. Fixing clocks is not like fixing sewing machines, but it surely piqued my interest.”
“I was born and raised in Holton. I grew up on a my family’s farm. I always tell this joke as my introduction at every one of my shows:
”From the big city of Holton, IN. Population 480, and that’s counting all the horses and chickens.”
Keith Swinney was inducted into the Southeastern Indiana Musicians Hall of Fame in October 2013.
“I took art classes when I was 89 years old. I love oil painting and watercolor. It’s possible I had painted close to 100 paintings, or maybe more…I’ve lost count.”
Clarence was married to his wife, Helen, for 57 years until her passing in 2004. They loved to travel. They visited 48 out of the 50 states in the country (except North Dakota and Hawaii), Canada, Jerusalem, Cairo, Rome, Belgium, Holland, France, Germany and Switzerland. But they had this to say, “Indiana is hard to beat. Southern Indiana is the best!”
Secret to a successful marriage
“Married life was the best years of my life. We have 5 children and we were married 57 years. You must love and be devoted to one another. We never had a heated argument, and if we did have a disagreement, we always talked it out. We always sleep together, other than when she was in the hospital.”
Secret to longevity
“Oh, I don’t know…I led a good Christian life. I go to the Lutheran church in Napoleon.”
Clarence passed away at age 102. He is survived by 14 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.