“We didn’t know each other until 1957 when we met at the Bethlehem church,” the couple said.
Prior to this time, Diane, daughter of Julius and Estella Fossell, lived in the Stephen, Minn., area where they farmed.
“I attended country school for the first eight years in District 32 and had one and a half miles to walk to school. My folks then moved to Pelan where I went to school for a year and then finished the other three years in Karlstad.”
Diane then went to Minneapolis spending the next nine months working for Hartford Insurance.
Orleen Anderson, the son of Martin and Laura, attended grades one thru eight in School District 33, one and one-half miles west of his parents’ home place.
“For the first four years I walked to school. We had bus service the last four years,” Orleen stated. “Edward (Eddie) Dallager was the bus driver. The bus was an old 1938 beer truck painted yellow. Wooden benches on both sides were used to sit on.”
Along with being involved in farming, the Fossells also worked out in the potato fields and in the winter Julius worked in the woods by the Iron Range.
Four sons and three daughters were born to this union including Loretta Langaas of Greenbush.
The Andersons were also farmers, and along with their son they had one daughter, Lois Dvergsten of Greenbush.
Orleen and Diane went to a movie on their first date. They went together for three years.
Sixty years ago, on June 18, 1960, wedding bells chimed at the rural Bethlehem Lutheran church where Diane Fossell and Orleen Anderson were united in marriage.
Ronnie Anderson, Orleen’s cousin, was groomsman; Diane’s niece, Janice Syverson, was bridesmaid. Arlyn Dvergsten, nephew of Orleen, was the ring bearer; Devon Sandstrom, Diane’s cousin, was flower girl.
Diane said with a grin, “I bought my street-length wedding dress in Minneapolis – it wasn’t cheap compared to what they cost now!”
Following their reception the newlyweds headed for Duluth on their honeymoon in Orleen’s 1951 green four-door Chevrolet.
“We were given a chivaree after we returned home and then another on our 25th anniversary … it was potluck and four people brought cherry salad which I thought was kind of unusual,” Diane laughed.
Orleen and Diane took up residence at the Anderson home place. Orleen’s mother, Laura, shared her home with them for a number of years, and later moved to Greenbush.
What are some of the biggest changes they have experienced in their lifetime?
“There was no indoor plumbing or running water; wood-burning kitchen stoves were used to cook on with ovens for baking; the water in the reservoir was heated by the stoves … from horses to tractors to dial phones that had party lines (those who were on the same party line used to listen in on conversations), to cell phones; there was no TV … ” they replied.
The Andersons are the parents of two children, son Mardy, of Strathcona and daughter, Jill (Dave) Wahl, of Greenbush. Their extended family includes four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Congratulations, Orleen and Diane Anderson, on reaching a true milestone of 60 years of togetherness!
To see the complete story, read the July 1 issue of The Tribune in print or online.