‘I was hooked’

Paradise Valley couple celebrate 75 years of marriage
Sam Klomhaus — Enterprise Staff Writer
Friday, February 14, 2020
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Enterprise photo by Nate Howard

Jenny and Bob Weber stand in front of the fireplace Bob built at their home in Paradise Valley, which they have lived in for almost 60 years.

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Enterprise photo by Nate Howard

With the big picture window at their home, the Webers can look out on Paradise Valley whenever they want.

For Bob and Jenny Weber, the secret to a lasting marriage is the little things. You have to live with your partner 24/7.

The Webers, of Paradise Valley, are set to celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks. Jenny is 95, and Bob will be 95 in about six weeks.

The pair met when they were both juniors in high school in Livingston.

“Robert was in one class and I was in another class, and we were both really bashful,” Jenny said.

Bob was assigned to write a paper, but he hadn’t learned how to type. His teacher told Bob to have Jenny type his paper up, then take her to a show after.

Jenny agreed, but when Bob showed up at her house to take her to the show, he caught a glimpse of her dad in the back yard, “throwing railroad ties around like matchsticks.” He said he almost got cold feet right then and there.

Two weeks after their first date, another show came up. Bob asked Jenny for a second date. They had to park a ways away from the theater, and walk for a bit through the snow.

“Jenny hooked her arm into mine and I was hooked,” Bob said.

“Robert and I fell in love,” Jenny said.

Bob and Jenny dated after that until high school graduation. After graduation, Bob got an agriculture deferment from the military for one year, and then got drafted to go to World War II. He went to Utah for basic training and then to Florida for more training. When he came back, he had a 19-day break before he had to report again, and that’s when he and Jenny got married.

They were married on Feb. 27, 1945 at the old St. Mary’s Catholic Church on Third Street.

Eventually, Bob was shipped to the Pacific, where he flew in B-29 bombers making runs to Japan.

After the war, Bob returned to Livingston, where he and Jenny found a place in town. Bob worked for the railroad, and Jenny worked in a store.

They moved to their ranch in Paradise Valley, a 320-acre spread, in 1954. The first few years were tough, Bob said, because the place was really run down. Eventually Bob built a new house on the ranch, which he and Jenny have lived in since the early ’60s.

Bob and Jenny’s spread borders Bob’s parents’ old place, which his brother still lives on.

After Bob was laid off from the railroad, he put his land to work for him and started in the sheep business. He ran the farm and Jenny ran the house, he said.

Bob quit the sheep business about three years ago. He has also tried cattle, but said he was spreading himself too thin.

The couple has one child, a daughter, Cathy, who still lives in the area. They also have two grandkids and six great-grandkids.

Cathy said she recalls the only fight her parents ever had was about horses. Her mom didn’t like horses, Cathy said, and her dad always got her one. 

It seemed sometimes her parents worked so hard there was no time to fight or worry about other things, Cathy said.

Things were not always easy, Cathy said, but her parents loved each other through all of it.

When asked how they’ve managed to make their own marriage work for so long, the couple would appear to reject the phrase “bicker like an old married couple.”

“We don’t fight, and we take good care of each other,” Jenny said.

“In order to get along, you have to be courteous to one another,” Bob said.

They don’t nitpick and are very compatible, they said.

“There’s been a whole lot of water under the bridge,” Bob said.

Bob and Jenny are having a 75th anniversary party Feb. 29 at the Catholic Hall. No presents, Jenny said.

“It has been a hell of a ride,” Bob said.