LeRoy and Lillian Maas mark 70 years of marriage

Published 8:20 pm Saturday, June 5, 2010

When LeRoy and Lillian Maas met on an ice rink while Roy was a student at Bemidji State University, neither one of them had a home.

LeRoy’s mother had died. Lillian was born late in her parents’ lives and they too were gone.

But still, LeRoy had decided early on he wouldn’t be getting married until he graduated from college and had a job. “So I graduated one day and got married the next,” he said. “I had a job.”

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Now, the couple and their family are celebrating the 70 years they’ve made their home together.

LeRoy, now 92, and Lillian, 90, were married on June 7, 1940, in Cook, where Lillian’s sister was married to the minister.

“We hitchhiked back to Bemidji,” Roy recalled.

He was supposed to teach that first year in Bemidji, but wouldn’t have gotten to teach physical education like he wanted to. So instead, he took a teaching job in Onamia and taught physical education and social studies. He coached football and was the assistant basketball and track coach. The couple lived there for two years before moving to Tracy, where he taught physical education and coached football, basketball and track for a year.

The couple moved to Albert Lea in 1943.

LeRoy taught phy ed for 37 years in Albert Lea and coached “B” football, wrestling and track. He also served for 17 years as the city recreation director.

The couple has four children: JoAnn, Susan, Cathy and Ronald; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchilden.

When LeRoy and Lillian met, Lillian was working in a photography studio. She developed film, retouched photographs and added color to them.

“She was very good at that,” LeRoy said.

After the children were grown, she worked in product research.

The couple wintered for 25 years in Arizona.

Roy lives in Hidden Creek Estates and Lillian is in the neighboring Good Samaritan Society. Roy visits her each day there.