GARDEN - Don and Marti Grothe exchanged their wedding vows 60 years ago in a small country church in Iowa with the sound of pigs grunting and cows mooing in the background. The ceremony took place on June 14, 1952
That fall, the couple returned to Dubuque, Iowa, to resume their teaching jobs - Marti as a gym teacher and Don as a science teacher and counselor. The following year they moved to Michigan where Marti taught head start in Pontiac for 25 years after their children were all school age. Don was a counselor in Birmingham for 39 years. The Grothes now have four children and 11 grandchildren. They are expecting their first great-grandchild in July.
Twenty-two years ago, the couple moved to Garden where Marti volunteered in the kindergarten two days a week. She did this for 18 years and when her first class graduated, the students asked her to be the commencement speaker and gave her a standing ovation. A few years later the entire school gave her the honor of being selected as the recipient for "Make a Difference Day" again, to a standing ovation.
Don and Marti Grothe
Don worked for the Health Department in Schoolcraft County part-time as a substance abuse counselor, then as a clinical therapist for Community Health and finally a counselor/mediator for the Friend of the Court, retiring at age 80.
The couple have traveled to all 50 states (many by motorcycle), Norway, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, England, Ireland, and Scotland, as well as five cruises to the Caribbean plus the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth. They are now content to spend their days visiting children and grandchildren, as well as playing cards, participating in community activities in Garden and the many events at their church where Don plays the organ.
A reception in honor of the couple was held on June 10 at the Garden Community Church.