The Rev. Paul Thompson guides Silas and Beulah Vongroven as they renew their vows to each other after 65 years of marriage. DAVID STOEGER/NEWS-RECORD
The Rev. Paul Thompson guides Silas and Beulah Vongroven as they renew their vows to each other after 65 years of marriage. DAVID STOEGER/NEWS-RECORD
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"Work together and believe in each other - and follow the orders that you promised the day you were married," said Beulah Vongroven on what it takes to create a strong marriage.

Both Silas and Beulah Vongroven know a great deal about marriage. They have been married 65 years. On June 12, the couple renewed their vows before their family, friends and fellow residents of Green Lea Manor in the activity room.

The Rev. Paul Thompson from Henrytown Lutheran Church of rural Canton gave the message and administered vows to the couple.

"In my meetings with you, all the times I have visited, and the conversation that we've had - I'm always struck by just how incredibly close the both of you are and how you have remained all of these years," Thompson said. "You are living proof of what we read from (the book of) Ecclesiastes: two are stronger than one. Two together make each other stronger.... Working together does indeed make us stay together."

Silas still enjoys telling of the day the two met. "It was the 28th of March in 1948," Silas said. He went on to explain his brother and Beulah's brother came over to talk about farming and trucking business. It just so happened that Beulah came along.

"Gee whiz, when she came through the door she had such a cute smile on her face...after they sat down I looked at her and (thought), 'She is a nice looking gal.'"

The chance meeting that led to a lifetime of commitment between the two almost did not happen, Beulah said.

"I didn't want to go with them. I said, 'I don't know any of them there.' (Then my brother said) 'You have to go along, you are not staying here (home) alone.'"

The chance meeting led Silas to ask more questions about Beulah. "I got a date with her...after that I was dating her all the time - and then we got married in late December of 1948."

The couple started farming in 1951, first in Iowa for 13 years and then moved back to Minnesota. The couple retired from farming in 1989.

"We milked 70 cows year round," Silas said. "She (Beulah) was a farm girl, that's what I was looking for."

Silas, now 91, and Beulah, now 88, continue to live together at Green Lea Manor Nursing home in Mabel. They have one son, Stanley; a daughter-in-law, Luanne; two granddaughters, Lana and Sara; and three great-grandchildren.

"When you were married, you're married. That's what our parents always taught us," Beulah said.

The two renewed their 65-year commitment, to working together and believing in each other, and are just as devoted to each other as they were when they first took those vows in 1948.