It was March 27, 1938.
The day already held much significance for Victor Dirks – it was his birthday. But this year, it was all about is bride, Evelyn.
She wore a white satin lace dress with a long net veil and carried a bouquet of pink roses. He wore a simple dark suit. And with love in their eyes, they said their vows at Buhler Mennonite Brethren Church.
Seventy-five years later, the couple is still celebrating. Family and friends gathered Sunday to honor the long-term commitments they made to each other that day, and each day following.
"If they told us 75 years on that day, then I don't know what I would have thought," Victor said. "It seems like a short time."
But the couple, now residents of Heartland Haven in rural Inman, have indeed done much in their 75 years.
They first met in high school, when Victor was a freshmen and Evelyn a sophomore. After their wedding, they lived on a farm outside of Buhler where they raised two daughters, Marlene and Evonne.
Evonne describes her parents as a team that worked together. Evelyn assisted Victor with farm work and bookkeeping for his radio and television business.
"She fit in any place," Victor said. "Any place I needed help, she was there."
The couple volunteered in a number of avenues, including the Buhler Lions Club, Buhler Senior Center, Rescue Mission and Gideon International. They also loved to travel and camp in their RV, visiting nearly every U.S. state.
But no matter what they did together, Victor said he learned two words were the key to making their marriage last: yes, dear.
"That always worked for me," he said.
But that wasn't all. Victor also said they always approached differences with respect for each other.
"We've compromised in many different ways in our 75 years," he said. "We've never threatened one another. It's never been dog-eat-dog. Our discussions were never the kind of 'you go' or 'I go.' That's kind of unusual."
Although life has slowed down for the couple – both are 95 – Heartland Haven owner Artis Perret said she has been able to see the flame of their love is still flickering. Victor has been persistent about being able to be together as much as possible.
"They are so close," Perret said. "He has said, 'When she needs to talk, no matter when it is, I want to be there for her' and 'whatever it takes, I want to make her comfortable."
This is because for Victor and Evelyn, every day is a gift. As their anniversary invitation states, "Our wedding was many years ago. The celebration continues to this day."
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