Clarence and Margaret (nee McNeil) Schroeder, of Valparaiso, will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on Saturday.
They met at Seiver's Soda Fountain, early in 1956, where Margaret worked and Clarence was a customer. The story is told that, shortly afterward, while skating at the local roller rink, he rescued her from an overly amorous admirer, and from then on they were inseparable. The same year, on Dec. 17, they were married. Their wedding did have the blessing of their parents, so it wasn't quite an elopement. However, their 11 p.m. arrival at the home of a justice of the peace in Michigan City along with a police escort — you'll have to ask them about it as it's a pretty good story — gave their vows to each other a memorable twist. Clarence's brother and sister-in-law, Lawrence and Vernette Schroeder, stood as witnesses.
After their rather unique wedding, they made their home in Valparaiso. Most of their 60 years together have been spent in their present home in the Burlington Beach area.
They raised six children: Victor L. Schroeder, of Houston, Texas; Mary (David) Sluyter, of Conway, Michigan; Terri (Don) Gilger, of Plymouth, Indiana; Sheryl L. Kuchel, of Milledgeville, Georgia; Carolyn (John) Gallagher, of Valparaiso; and James A. Schroeder, of Nashville, Tennessee. They also proudly boast about their 14 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
Clarence is retired from Ford Stamping Plant in Chicago Heights, Illinois. Margaret is retired from Chuck's Bakery in Valparaiso.
These days, the couple enjoys movies, eating at favorite restaurants and visits with family and friends. They will be spending their day at home, receiving well wishes from their loved ones.