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Partners in Friendship and Marriage for 72 Years

How this couple perservered through the ups and downs of marriage for 72 years.


Content provided by Good Samaritan Society.

Love, friendship and laughter have been the theme of Eugene and Jean Pageler’s 72-year-marriage. For the couple, both 94, compromise has been key. The Pagelers, tenants for more than six years at Good Samaritan Society – Grandview Suites senior living apartments in Wamego, Kansas, make their marriage a priority.

They have each other and talk through things. They treat each other well and respect each other.” – Polly Oswald, daughter of the Pagelers

Polly is thankful that her parents’ apartment at Grand View Suites allows them to maneuver around easily with their walkers and go out into the building to socialize with others. When meeting new people, Jean jokingly introduces herself and Eugene as “an old pair of jeans.” The camaraderie at Grand View Suites between the small group of tenants is noticeable to Polly. “They’re all friends,” Polly says. “They all get along very well here.”

Laughter has been something the Pagelers focus on to keep their marriage and friendship strong. And these traits carry over into their friendships with those in the community. “They have moments they remember and they laugh,” says Polly.

When the hardworking couple first met, Eugene was a farmer and Jean was a switchboard operator. A friend had introduced them and they dated about three years before marrying on Aug. 30, 1946. The Pagelers loved farm life and did many different types of jobs through the years, including driving a school bus, while continuing to farm. Along the way, they had two children. And now have four grandchildren.

Nowadays, a lot of the couple’s friends are no longer living, but they have made friends with those younger than them. With all the friends they’ve had through the years, the couple’s friendship with each other has been the most important — even through the hard times.

“It’s a lot of unconditional love,” says Polly.

Ideas from the Pagelers’ life to help you connect with neighbors:

  • Drive a school bus (both of the Pagelers did this)
  • Join an exercise class (Jean likes to use the NuStep machine at Grand View Suites)
  • Keep in contact with those in the same field that you worked in after retirement (Eugene was a farmer and likes to chat with area farmers)
  • Offer to dress up as Santa Claus for a friend’s holiday gathering (Eugene did this for more than a decade for a local family)
  • Play cards with friends (the Pagelers enjoy doing this)
  • Serve on your township board (Eugene served as treasurer)

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