Alden couple marks 75th anniversary

Published 10:30 am Monday, June 21, 2010

Judy Nelson said any couple who is having trouble in their marriage should sit and watch her parents for a day.

“Their faith, hard work and devotion to each other is something special,” Nelson said of Arnold and Ardis Petersen, who are celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary on Wednesday.

“They sit and hold hands. They have been wonderful examples of what love can be,” she said.

Email newsletter signup

Ardis is 93 and Arnold is 95.

The couple was married on June 23, 1935, at the Danish Lutheran Church in Alden. A reception was held at the home of the bride’s parents, Chris and Agnes Jorgensen.

While they attended the same school, Arnold and Ardis met at their church. “It was so small, everyone know everybody else,” Nelson explained.

Arnold graduated from Alden High School in 1931 at the age of 16. Ardis graduated in 1934 at the age of 17.

They’ve lived all their lives in the Alden area. They farmed and milked cows and raised pigs and chickens. They grew oats, corn and beans. In later years, they traded their dairy cows for beef cattle.

“Mom took care of the chickens and worked out in the fields,” Nelson said. “We had a garden that had to have been an acre. Mom canned everything. We hardly bought anything from the store.”

Along the way, the couple kept a deep faith, Nelson said.

She remembers her mother pointing out how after the chickens would take a drink of water, they lifted their heads to let the water trickle down their throats. “She’d say, ‘See? After they drink they lift their heads to the Lord.’

“They instilled in us a deep faith,” she added.

The couple has two children. Curtis Petersen and his wife, Mary, live south of Alden. They have four children and eight grandchildren. Nelson and her husband, Curtis, had three children and five grandchildren.

Nelson said she is one of the few people who has been fortunate enough to have both of her parents attend her 50th wedding anniversary celebration.

The Petersens celebrated their anniversary with family. Anyone who wishes to send them a card may do so to: Arnold and Ardis Petersen, 154 Second Ave., Alden, MN 56009.