Issaquah couple celebrates a lifetime together

September 20, 2011

By Christina Lords

Marv and Lucille mark 68 years of marriage

Lucille and Marv Lemke keep the love bright for each other as they recall highlights of their 68-year marriage. By Greg Farrar

At a fateful wedding in Wisconsin during the early 1940s, Marv Lemke and his parents attended the reception to offer their congratulations to the groom.

Lucille Lueder and her family attended the event to do the same for the bride.

Little did they know that attending that wedding would soon lead to their own.

After decades of traveling across the United States and around the world, being active in the Lutheran church and starting a family, the Issaquah couple will celebrate their 68th wedding anniversary Sept. 22.

But the relationship almost never got off the ground.

After Marv introduced himself at the wedding in Wisconsin, where the Lemkes were raised, he asked if he could drive Lucille home.

She declined.

But as a driver for a Ford tractor distributor, Marv was resourceful and asked around to find out where Lucille lived.

“I drove by and she was standing by the well, by the pump house,” he said. “That started it. She twitterpated me.”

After dating for about a year and a half, the couple married in Wisconsin in 1943 and moved to Seattle that same year.

“You have roses blooming until Christmas,” he said. “You don’t have that in Wisconsin.”

The couple maintains they’ve never had a fight — but will admit to some disagreements.

“We made a vow to each other,” Lucille said. “It’s just something we’ve taken very seriously.”

While they were engaged, Marv served in the United States Navy during World War II. He was stationed in Guam before being transferred to Japan until the end of the war in 1945. After spending a few years with the Washington National Guard, Marv rejoined the Navy from 1948 until 1966. He received his full discharge in 1975.

Lucille worked for the parts department for General Motors in Seattle during the war, and sold pottery and took classes to improve her writing as a young adult.

The couple has traveled across the nation to each of the 50 states and has made several trips to Jerusalem.

“We became full-time travelers for many years,” Lucille said. “Our son, Paul, would sleep in the front seat of our car and we’d have a mattress in the back.”

Surrounded by black walnut furniture carpentered by Marv while he was in high school, and pottery crafted by Lucille throughout her life, they’ve made their home in Providence Point since 1986.

Their son Paul served two tours in the Army during Vietnam and resides in Maltby in Snohomish County.

“It’s been a great life, our life,” Lucille said. “It’s amazing, absolutely amazing that we are still living, both of us … we’ve always been blessed through it all.”

Christina Lords: 392-6434, ext. 239 or Comment at

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2 Responses to “Issaquah couple celebrates a lifetime together”

  1. Issaquah couple celebrates a lifetime together | Bellevue WA, Kirkland WA, Redmond WA Area Funeral Home & Cremation Services: Cascade Memorial on September 30th, 2011 1:08 pm

    […] Lucille and Marv Lemke keep the love bright for each other as they recall highlights of their 68-year marriage. By Greg FarrarFrom the Issaquah Press article by Christina Lords | September 20, 2011 […]

  2. Anonymous on September 30th, 2011 2:08 pm

    I wish them many more happy years together. Great story.

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