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Heller 50th

Lifelong Kenosha residents Robert “Buzz” and Mary Kae Heller celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with family at Northern Bay Resort, where they enjoyed boating, fishing and golfing.

Buzz and the former Mary Kae Hawkins met when they became lab partners in a high school chemistry class. She managed to explode a test tube, which resulted in holes all over her blouse — and got his attention. They say their chemistry improved after that and they married at St. George Church on July 24, 1965.

Buzz works as a periodontist at Washington Heights. He also taught at Marquette Dental School for 23 years and has been a member of the Serra Club for 15 years. Mary Kae earned her master’s degree in counseling and education at Marquette University and works as a therapist at Interconnections, with her practice now limited to the field of divorce mediation. They believe their strong suit as a couple has been being parents, for they have served as godparents, foster parents, adoptive parents, biological parents and grandparents. They have been actively involved in school events, such as decorating for and chaperoning proms and homecomings, and coaching basketball.

The Hellers have four children, Kreg Heller, Hubertus, Wis.; Kim (Marc) Marotta, Mequon; Kelli (Brian) Taffora, Cedarburg, Wis.; and Juliette (Sam) Hutchinson. They also have seven grandchildren.

They say the key to their successful marriage is their strong faith, surrounding themselves with friends and having children and grandchildren who enrich their lives. Mary Kae added that “the real secret is to always laugh at his jokes.”

Hernandez 50th

Juan “John” and Carol Hernandez, who met in Milwaukee, celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on Friday. The couple was married on July 24, 1965.

John, born in San Antonio, moved to Kenosha when he was 7 years old. He graduated from Kenosha High School, went on to school and served in the U.S. Army. He worked for American Brass and Monarch Plastics. Carol is originally from Park Falls, Wis., and graduated from Park Falls High School before moving to Milwaukee for work. She was a homemaker while her children were young and then worked as a pharmacy technician for Walgreens.

Both are now retired and enjoy spending time with family. John’s interests include going for walks and woodworking. Carol enjoys reading and Bible study.

They have two children, John (Allison) Hernandez of Kenosha and Jennifer (Dale) Peterson of Waukesha, and seven grandchildren.

They say the key to their successful marriage is God, their faith in him and loving each other unconditionally.

Shamberg 50th

Dale and Stella (Sieminski) Shamberg of Kenosha will celebrate their golden wedding anniversary this week with a family dinner. The couple was married on July 31, 1965, at Assumption Catholic Church in Chelsea, Wis.

Dale worked at AMC/Renault/Chrysler for 41 years. Stella worked as a nurse’s aide at Kenosha Hospital for over 12 years.

The Shambergs have three children, all of Pleasant Prairie: David (Betty) Shamberg, Gregg (Sue) Shamberg and Kim (Larry) Sladek. They also have six grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

They say love and trust are key to a long and successful marriage.

Kaufman 50th

On July 12, Tom and Phyllis Kaufman of Pleasant Prairie enjoyed a celebration in honor of their golden wedding anniversary.

Tom, son of the late Alfred and Laverne (Stein) Kaufman, and Phyllis, daughter of the late Louis and Agnes (Schwartz) Krahn, met when citizens band radios were popular. Phyllis was getting a radio installed in her father’s car and Tom was there as well. They dated for almost two years, were engaged on Feb. 13, 1965, and married on July 10, 1965, at St. Mary’s Rectory. Phyllis’ sister, Edith Pederson, served as maid of honor and Tom’s brother, the late Robert Kaufman, was the best man.

Tom’s younger years were spent in Wisconsin and Florida. He attended schools in Kenosha, Racine and Florida before graduating from Bradford High School. Tom retired as a pressman for the Kenosha News on Jan 1, 2000. Phyllis attended Friedens Lutheran School, graduated from Racine Lutheran High School and attended Gateway Technical College. The lifelong Kenosha County resident retired as telecommunications specialist from Gateway in November 2008.

The Kaufmans have two children, Kimberly Kaufman Kampert of Munford, Tenn., and Michael (Lina Juarbe) Kaufman of Kenosha. They also have nine grandchildren.

Their secret to success: Learning to respect each other’s views and opinions, talking things out and loving each other with unconditional love.

Vorpahl 50th

Dwight and Dorothy (LaPalm) Vorpahl of Salem celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a small family gathering.

The longtime Kenosha County residents met at Wilmot High School during their sophomore year. Dorothy rejected Dwight’s advances initially, but said yes to his third request for a date. They were married on July 17, 1965, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Twin Lakes.

Dwight worked for International Harvester and Chrysler before retiring in 2007. Dorothy retired from Wilmot High School in 2002. She is an avid quilter and Dwight keeps busy helping out family and friends. Both enjoy spending time with their family, which includes three children: Dannette (Joseph) Cates of Salem, Dwight (Randi) Vorpahl Jr. of Denmark, Wis., and Dustin (Jenny) Vorpahl of Burlington; and eight grandchildren.

They say the key to a successful and lasting relationship is to always remember the things about each other that made you fall in love.

Tenuta 70th

Ernie and Joyce (Sonquist) Tenuta celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in November. The Kenosha High School sweethearts, who graduated in 1942, were married at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Kenosha on Nov. 3, 1944.

In his first year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in December 1942, Ernie enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served in the China Burma India Theater during World War II. He was honorably discharged in June 1946. He returned to Madison and graduated with a bachelor of science degree from the School of Business in January 1949. He worked for Johns Manville Sales Corp. for 33 years, followed by 15 years of sales, marketing and consulting services in the Midwest. Joyce worked at AT&T and other business offices in Kenosha while earning credits at the UW Extension. Later, she graduated from Gateway Technical College, where she worked for 18 years before retiring in 1983. Ernie and Joyce have enjoyed golfing; skiing; vacations in Florida; trips to England, Italy and France; family holiday gatherings, and special winter visits with their daughter Kathy’s family in Santa Monica, Calif. With the exception of six years spent in Milwaukee, they have been lifelong residents of Kenosha and members of St. Mary and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic churches.

The Tenutas have three children: James (Karen, deceased) Tenuta, Jeffrey Tenuta and the late Kathleen (Bill) Rasmus. They also have four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

They say the key to their lasting relationship is love, patience, working together and enjoying family and friends.

Nikolai 60th

Kenosha natives Norman and Joan Nikolai will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary with family at Villa Ciera Senior Apartments, where the couple resides, at a later date.

Norman and the former Joan Farrell went on a double date when he was home on leave from the U.S. Navy. Later on, the couple communicated by mail while he was stationed on Whidbey Island, Wash., even sending the engagement ring by mail. They were married two years after meeting, on July 9, 1955, at St. Thomas Church in Kenosha.

Norman worked for Sears and Kmart for many years before accepting a position with Lamar Advertising in Oklahoma City, Okla., where he worked for 20 years prior to retiring. Joan worked at various times throughout the marriage, in part-time roles such as dental assistant, hostess and preschool teacher.

The Nikolais have four children: Theresa (Robert) Erdman, Racine; Jane Nikolai, Racine; Norman Nikolai, Kenosha, and John (Amy) Nikolai, South Milwaukee. They also have six grandchildren and two great-granddaughters.

They say that if you respect one another, everything else will fall into place, and placing a top priority on family is the key to a successful union.

Weiss 50th

Lifelong Kenosha residents John and Mary Jane Weiss celebrated their golden wedding anniversary with a party at Madrigrano Marina Shores on June 27.

John Weiss and the former Mary Jane Isermann attended St. James and St. Mary grade schools, respectively, and graduated from St. Joseph High School in 1960. The couple married at St. James Church on May 15, 1965.

John was the recipient of a state indentured apprenticeship in tool and die from Lundberg Brothers Machine Co. and worked in several shops in Kenosha before accepting a position at Rexam Container Division, Chicago, where he recently received his 40-year award. Mary Jane graduated with a degree in nutrition from the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minn. She worked at Kenosha Hospital for 35 years, retiring after serving as food service director for the last 15 of those years. She then worked in government customer service at Cardinal Healthcare, Waukegan, Ill., for 13 years. The couple has owned and operated Weiss Marina in the Kenosha small boat harbor for 37 years.

John and Mary Jane have two children: John Neil (Julie) Weiss of Kenosha and Mary Catherine Muetze of Wauwatosa. They also have three grandchildren.

They say the key to their successful marriage has been strong love of family, honesty, hard work and cooperation.

Other Anniversaries

Week of

Couples also celebrating significant anniversaries this week include:

— Michael and Jamie (Brown) Kelnhofer of Kenosha, 10 years on July 23.

— Kevin and Haley (Geb) Curran of Kenosha, five years on July 24.

— Christian and Arlene (Tessmer) Lober of Kenosha, 35 years on July 26.

— Mike and Jenny (Lois) LaRose of Trevor, 40 years on July 26.

— Robert A. and Nan J. (Kozerski) Marshall of Kenosha, 40 years on July 26.

— Jeff and Sheila (Buckley) Neiner of Pleasant Prairie, 10 years on July 30.

Send information to celebrations@kenoshanews.com or mail it to Celebrations, 5800 Seventh Ave., Kenosha, WI 53140.

Week of

Couples also celebrating significant anniversaries this week include:

— Ronald and Darla (Scheckler) Kramer of Kenosha, 25 years on July 14.

— Jeff and Cheryl (LeTendre) Turner of Kenosha, 35 years on July 19.

— Craig and Patty (Kelm) Roepke of Pleasant Prairie, 25 years on July 21.

Send information to celebrations@kenoshanews.com or mail it to Celebrations, 5800 Seventh Ave., Kenosha, WI 53140.

Week of

Couples also celebrating significant anniversaries week include:

— Arsene and Sue (Ellman) Gerber of Kenosha, 35 years on July 5.

— David and Mary Ann (Bach) Jackson of Kenosha, 15 years on July 8.

— Chris and Stephanie (Buratti) Lusiak of Kenosha, 10 years on July 16.

— Gene and Mary Jo (Buratti) Breiling of Kenosha, 55 years on July 16.

Send information to celebrations@kenoshanews.com or mail it to Celebrations, 5800 Seventh Ave., Kenosha, WI 53140.

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