Sherm and Bonnie Alwardt, who lived in Kenosha for 32 years before building a home in Trevor, plan to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary with family and friends all through the holiday season.
While attending Illinois State University, Bonnie Shaffar was asked if she would write to Sherm, her best friend’s husband’s cousin, who was serving in Vietnam with the U.S. Air Force. The couple began dating after he was discharged and were married in a candlelit ceremony at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waukegan, Ill., where they are still members, on Dec. 7, 1968. Sherm likes to refer to Bonnie as his “mail order bride.”
Sherm and Bonnie retired from Abbott Laboratories in 2009 and 2010, respectively. They are active church members and have served as Boy Scout and Girl Scout leaders. Sherm coached CYC youth football. Bonnie served as mentor at Whittier School in Waukegan. With travel being a mutual interest, they have visited all 50 states and over 20 countries. They say their motto is “have passport ... will travel.”
The Alwardts have three children: Kristina (Craig) Schmidt, Trevor; Aimee Bucher, Lake Villa, Ill.; and Shane (Amy) Alwardt; and five grandchildren.
Sherm and Bonnie attribute the success of their relationship to faith in God, love for family and having lasting friendships.