The North Bend Eagle


63-plus years mostly a treat for Westermans

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 7/2/14

Peony Park was a gathering place for young people in its heyday. It was the place that Jeanene Dunker and Glenn Westerman, met in September 1949.

Not to give away the ending of the story, but the pair won the Loving Cup as the longest married couple at the Old Settlers worship service this past Sunday after 63 years of marriage.

Westerman's win loving cupGlen and Jeanene Westerman were honored as the longest married couple at the Old Settlers Sunday worship service. They are the 76th couple to win the award.

In 1949, Jeanene was an 18 ear-old May graduate of North Bend High School. She moved to Omaha to live with family and work in a lawyer’s office.

Wes Westerman, now 88, was a 25-year-old veteran who moved to Omaha with his family from Pawnee City. He had been in the Army during World War II and was now working in Omaha.

On Oct. 29, 1950, the two were married in a Lutheran church in Fremont. Marilyn Bloch (Shanahan) was one of Jeanene’s bridesmaids, as was Jeanene’s twin sister, Virginia.

The Westermans lived in Omaha until 1958, when in September they moved to North Bend. Wes and Don Satorie had opened the Phillips 66 gas station in North Bend in 1957, but the business did not gel, so Wes was back working in Omaha at RediMix in 1959.

The driving finally got to him (even though Jeanene said the traffic wasn’t anything like it is today) and he started working as a salesman for Weldon Industries in 1975, where he worked until retirement in 2000.

The Westermans have five children: Pam and Jim Kavourek of David City, Bob and Jan Westerman of Lincoln, Virginia and Bart Bosco of North Bend, Jeanene Lambley of North Bend, Tom and Tammie Westerman of Scribner, seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

When asked what was the secret of their long-lasting marriage, Wes laughingly said “trick or treat,” referring to their near Halloween wedding. He said he wasn’t sure if there was a secret.

“I just put up with everything she said,” he added with a laugh.

Jeanene, 82, said they have had ups and downs.

“It’s been a bumpy ride through the years,” she said, “but we’re still together. Nothing’s perfect. Its 60-40 (ratio), we take turns winning the debates.”

But she added that she and her husband have the same likes, same friends, and they always got along, which helped the marriage last.

The Westermans received a dozen roses furnished by Betty’s Bouquets and trophy from the Chamber of Commerce. They rode in an air conditioned convertible in the Old Settler’s parade.

The Westermans are the 75th couple to receive the loving cup [Edit- since two couples tied for the 2013 Loving Cup, the Westermans are actually the 76th couple]. The tradition was started in 1937 to honor the couple at the Old Settler’s Association picnic with the most “wedded years.” The first three years Mr. and Mrs. John Arps of Fremont won the cup for their 67, 68, 69 years of marriage. It was then decided that couples could only win the cup once. So counting as one the triple winners, the Loving Cup has been awarded to 75 couples in honor of their great number of wedded years.

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