Portrait Project – Lasting Love
Over a period of eight weeks I sat down with each of these lovely couples to hear their stories of love and marriage, and how they’ve made theirs last for as many years as they have. These are people who truly meant it when they said “for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part” and that was exactly what I wanted to capture with these photographs. With nearly 1400 years of combined wisdom and experience, the advice they gave is truly something to be taken to heart.
Henry Kersch, 90, gives his wife Alma, 87, a kiss on the forehead as she giggles at something he said while sitting on their couch in their Crossfield home on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016. The Kersch’s have been married for 66 years and still live independently in their own house. The two met through friends in 1948 and dated for a year and a half before getting married. Although Henry has had Alzheimers for the last few years they are as happy as ever. Their advice for a long and happy marriage is “Just love each other because there will always be problems, you just need to forget and forgive. Things aren’t always perfect, but they are good.” Together they have two children, two grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Harold Schielke, 85, and his wife Leona, 86, share a laugh while reminiscing in their home at the Rocky View Lodge in Crossfield on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. The Schielkes, married for 62 years, have never had a fight and are still deeply in love. Together they have four children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Harold is a SAIT alumni, graduating from the Welding program in 1952.
Marjorie and Werner, 80 and 86, share a laugh while reminiscing in their living room at the Rocky View Lodge on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. The Gretz’s have been married for 58 years and met at a dance in Waterloo, Ontario where they both formerly lived. Werner asked Marjorie to dance with him but she told him to come back when he had a clean shirt because the nylon one he had on was sweaty and smelly. So he went into the washroom, rinsed it in the sink, then came back and danced with her. Together they have two children, and five grandchildren.
Linda and Glen Aldred, 75 and 78, sit in Linda’s room at the Didsbury Aspen Ridge Lodge and reminisce about their life together on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2016. The Aldred’s met at a horse sale and had their first date at a dance in Lacombe, Alberta in 1962. They married in 1964. Glen lives at the Rocky View Lodge in Crossfield, and visits Linda once or twice a week in Didsbury. Linda was previously living in Crossfield with Glen, but due to an early onset of Alzheimers she had to be relocated in October 2015 to a nursing home where there is an LPN on shift 24 hours a day. They have been married for 52 years and together they have two children, and five grandchildren.
Emilio and Digna Ceron, both 88, share a moment at their home in Red Deer on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. The Ceron’s have been married for 67 years. Emilio asked Digna to go out with him after she repeatedly would take the long way to the market past the tire shop that he worked at just to see him. The married couple moved to Canada from Ecuador in 1975 to be with their oldest daughter. They both agreed that their secret to a long and happy marriage is to never hold a grudge.
Luke and Trudy Mouthaan display their wedding photo and share a moment in their residence at the Rocky View Lodge nursing home in Crossfield, Alberta on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016. The Mouthaan’s, both 84 years old, have been happily married for 58 years. They have two children, two grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
Bessie and Eric Mugford, 88 and 92, share a moment in their living room at the Bethany retirement home in Airdrie on Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. The Mugford’s met when Eric went to Montreal to visit friends and family and was introduced to Bessie through relatives. The couple was married on June 19, 1948, after Eric returned from serving two and a half years in the war. They lived in Montreal until they moved to Toronto in 2009. In 2015 they moved to Alberta, where all of their family lives. Eric suffered a stroke three years ago, and although it affected his speech, he is still happy and well. Together the Mugford’s have six children, twelve grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. Their advice for a long and happy marriage is to hold hands and be committed to one another.
Ruth and Baltser Schmaltz, 95 and 97, hold hands in their bedroom at the Bethany retirement home in Airdrie on Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. The Schmatlz’s met when Baltser was driving around Acme with a group of friends and stopped to talk to Ruth and her friends. The couple dated for one year before marrying on February 15, 1941. They have been married for 75 years. Together they have two daughters, five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. They stayed active by curling and bowling together until the ages of 87 and 89, and Baltser also golfed five days a week until that age. Their secret to a long lasting and happy marriage is determination and to not be afraid to work.