It was 92 degrees on July 29, 1954, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Tipton, Iowa, where Jim Beuter married Loretta Corkery in her hometown.
“All the men were in suits,” Loretta recalled, “and the ladies wore hats and gloves — in that heat!”
Jim said it was receiving Loretta’s letters from home that kept up his morale in Korea, where he served as a forward observer from 1951 to 1953, a position with a life expectancy of about two weeks.
The couple farmed near Tipton after marriage, and Jim was nominated for Outstanding Young Farmer in 1955. In 1961 he started a 35-year career as a crop production specialist for Dallas County with Growmark, retiring in 1995.
Loretta was a teacher at St. Patrick Catholic School in Perry for many years in addition to raising their four children: Bernadette, Pat, Paul and Michele.
“A lot of patience and understanding” are needed to make a marriage work, Jim said, and Loretta agreed.
The Beuters attended Mass Saturday evening at St. Patrick Catholic Church, where the Rev. Litto Thomas, parish priest, delivered the following blessing:
“We praise you, O God. We bless you, creator of all things, who in the beginning made man and woman that they might form a communion of life and love. We give you thanks for graciously blessing Jim and Loretta with 69 years of happy married life so that it might present an image of Christ’s union with the Church. Look with kindness upon Jim and Loretta today and as you have sustained their communion amid joys and struggles, renew their marriage covenant each day, increase their charity and strengthen in them the bond of peace so that they may for ever enjoy your blessing, through Christ our Lord. Amen.”