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Couple marks 75 years today

November 28, 2012
Jenn Brookens - Staff Writer , Fairmont Sentinel

FAIRMONT - After 75 years, there's still a spark between Ellrich and Agnes Fritz.

It can be seen in Ellrich's eyes and smile as he watches his wife walk out of the room to get a nurse. It can be heard as Agnes recalls their wedding day and some of the adventures the couple has had in their 75 years together.

It can even be heard in their teasing banter, as a nurse attempts to pin corsages on them.

Article Photos

Agnes and Ellrich Fritz celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary today.

"He could wear it on his shirt or his sweater," Agnes said. "Or if we need to, I can get a brassiere so there's a strap to pin it on."

After a moment, Ellrich replies, "I better not say what I thought of."

The couple - Agnes is 95, while Ellrich is 94 - got married when they were 20 and 19.

"It was the first-ever evening wedding at the Wilbert church," Agnes said. "We had such bright colors. We had peacock blue, shocking pink, gold, and our little flower girl - who is 79 now - was in powder blue."

The year was 1937, and 75 years ago, there had already been a big snowstorm. Fortunately this year, the weather was cooperative enough for 77 family members and friends to join the couple during the Thanksgiving weekend.

"We'll have it more quiet," Agnes said of today's anniversary. "Ellrich is on oxygen and has heart problems, and in 2011, I broke my hip, and I had a heart attack earlier this year."

But that doesn't dim the memories or slow the wit of the couple.

"This brings back a lot of memories," Agnes said. "We had no electricity, no running water. The only way you had running water is if you filled up a pail and ran with it. We didn't have any indoor toilets ... I don't know if I could do that again. But then again, we were younger back then and could deal with more."

Ellrich and Agnes are originally from the area, although Agnes grew up near Wadena with an aunt and uncle after she lost her parents at the age of 2. But she came back to the Fairmont area to stay with her sister when she turned 17.

"And then I met him," she said of Ellrich.

The two met at a mutual friend's wedding shower, and Ellrich asked if he could walk her home. That was the start of their relationship.

Their first of five children was born in January 1946, and then the family moved out to ranches in Colorado and Wyoming.

"We had no heat, just an old wood stove," Agnes said. "When we were in Wyoming, we lived in a town called Pine Bluffs, about 30 miles east of Cheyenne. When our fourth child came along, he didn't want to wait to travel 33 miles, and he ended up being born in the backseat of the car."

The growing family came back to the Wilbert area, and lived on a farm directly across the road from Ellrich's parents. Today, they have 15 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

"We got another one on the way come spring," Agnes said. "That's always such a happy occasion."



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