Ron and Pat Formella, of Pleasant Prairie, celebrated 60 years of marriage with a family dinner on Aug. 10, at House of Gerhard.
Ron and the former Pat Sikorski were neighbors in the small central Wisconsin town of Polonia. They were 8 years old and 6 years old, respectively, and enjoyed playing “Mary Jane and Sniffles,” which was a popular comic strip at the time, in which the characters would sprinkle sand in their hair to make themselves small to solve mysteries. Ron and Pat’s mothers didn’t appreciate the sand part very much!
The couple was married Sept. 19, 1959, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Polonia. A reception was held at the Merryland Ballroom. They have lived in the Kenosha area for 50 years, moving from Milwaukee in 1969.
Ron served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was honorably discharged as a sergeant. He retired from Nash/American Motors/Chrysler. After that, he spent a few years working for the Lake County (Ill.) Forest Preserve and the University of Wisconsin — Parkside.
Pat worked as a Realtor with Century 21 Colleen, having just retired a few years ago. She loved working with her clients to find or sell their homes.
They are members of St. Mary Catholic Church, where they have been involved for years serving as engaged couples’ counselors, lector, eucharistic minister and volunteers. Pat continues to attend Bible studies and helps in the office. For several years they were active participants in the UW-Parkside ALL program. Ron’s love of nature led to time volunteering at and enjoying Hawthorn Hallow in Kenosha. Pat was actively involved with Kenosha Easter Seals fundraising events. They enjoy cheering on the Packers and Brewers, but most of all, they enjoy cheering on and following the success of their grandkids, who range in ages from 5 to 25 and are doing some amazing things.
Ron and Pat have four children: Briand (Amy) Formella, of Stevens Point; Gregg (Marcela) Formella of Southlake, Texas; Lynn (Chad) Winston, of Hartland; and Heather (David) Kucharski, of Delavan; and 13 grandchildren.
They believe the key to a lasting and successful relationship is “faith and commitment, as church has always been a focal point in the family’s life. A sense of humor helps! And when things get tough, just hang in there — love will keep things going.”