High school sweethearts share zest for life

by Jim Boyle

Editor

Tyler and Maddie Hemmesch’s love story begins long before they even grasped what it meant to be in love.

Tyler is an  independent insurance agent for Elk Agency in Rogers. Maddie is a nurse for Fairview Southdale Hospital. Each will turn 25 this year and they will celebrate their first anniversary of marriage this fall. The couple will have an entire decade to reflect back on as a couple when they do celebrate.

 Tyler Hemmesch and Maddie Poce during their sophomore year at Elk River High School attended the state wrestling tournament where Hemmesch placed third that year.

Tyler Hemmesch and Maddie Poce during their sophomore year at Elk River High School attended the state wrestling tournament where Hemmesch placed third that year.

They began “going together” the August before their ninth-grade school year. They were voted later that year most likely to get married.

Heading into their 10th-grade year, they questioned whether remaining a couple made sense. They even took a couple of months off. But they drifted back together and kept up their relationship through high school.

These high school sweethearts experienced everything from high school orientation to homecomings and proms together — all while helping each other nurture their individual interests and pursuits.

Tyler, who grew up in Elk River, was a wrestler nine months out of each year, and a football player for the other three. He took third at state in wrestling  as a sophomore and  was a state runner-up as a junior and senior. He also hunted. And he was a friend to many.

Tyler Hemmesch and Maddie Poce at North Dakota State University wearing NDSU shirts in support of the Bison at a homecoming football game during their sophomore year in college.

Tyler Hemmesch and Maddie Poce at North Dakota State University wearing NDSU shirts in support of the Bison at a homecoming football game during their sophomore year in college.

Maddie, who grew up in Nowthen, was a soccer player and track athlete. And she was a friend to many.

Tyler and Maddie, who had met in the sixth grade, shared many of the same friends all through their middle and high school years. They had been good friends for so long that the notion of them as a couple was at first awkward for the two of them. They chanced their friendship and went on a date. One set of parents drove them to Applebee’s in Elk River. Another set picked them up from Marcus Theaters down the road on Freeport Avenue after they walked there and took in movie.

Tyler thinks they saw “Finding Nemo.” Like an old married couple, Maddie says he might be right, but she’s not sure.

Tyler is the son of Craig and Jody Hemmesch of Elk River. Maddie is the daughter of Mark and Michelle Poce of Nowthen.

Tyler and Maddie Hemmesch light their unity candle at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church where they also received first communion and were confirmed.

Tyler and Maddie Hemmesch light their unity candle at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church where they also received first communion and were confirmed.

The couple’s parents — Craig and Jody Hemmesch of Elk River and Mark and Michelle Poce of Nowthen — became regular chauffeurs, but once they got their licenses it opened up a whole new chapter of their love story.

They discovered while dating that they loved spending time together. They especially loved going places together and trying new things. It’s hard for them to pinpoint when they fell in love, but their friendship never swayed.

“I fell in love with him before I even knew what love was,” Maddie admits.

Tyler was slow to tell her he loved her. He wanted to make sure he wasn’t just saying it, like so many kids his age did.

Upon graduation from Elk River High School in 2007, Tyler and Maddie (Poce) selected separate colleges but made plans to remain a couple.

Tyler went to North Dakota State University to wrestle. When his knee went out after a couple of years of wrestling and going to school there, he made his way back home and pursued a license to sell insurance.

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Maddie started out at the University of Minnesota and after a year took her dream of a career in nursing to NDSU. She makes a convincing argument that it was the nursing program there that pulled her to the school as much as it was the fact that Tyler was a student there.

When he left the campus to head in a different career direction, she continued on for her nursing degree and the couple maintained a long-distance relationship once again.

“We have always been very independent people but at the same time very supportive of one another,” Tyler states.

They give each other their opinions and support each other’s decisions. Maddie talks Tyler’s ear off at times. Tyler leans on Maddie at other times.

N (62)They do it from near and afar. Some people who hadn’t known Maddie long suggested to her she was missing out, hanging onto her childhood love. They said she should date others.

“That wasn’t what I wanted,” she said of the notion. “I still had a blast.”

Tyler and Maddie stayed committed to one another. They had a 14-month engagement, and wedding planning was a breeze. Within a week of their engagement they had the church booked and after one visit to the Refuge Golf Country Club in Oak Grove, they had settled on where to have their reception.

Most of their other choices were simple, as they wanted to go with local vendors — Broadway Limousine for transportation on the big day, Steve Hickman for a deejay, Agape Moments Photography in Oak Grove for their photography, 101 Market in Otsego for their flowers and Tip Top Tux out of Rogers for tuxedos.

The couple’s rehearsal dinner at Pompeii Pizzeria.

The guys in the wedding were: Christian Popham, Brad Wenlund, Nick Donelson, Logan Hemmesch, Derek Martin (Best Man), Chris Nelson, Mike Flahave and Adam Hemmesch. The gals in the wedding were: Danielle Poce (maid of honor), Betsy Ludvigson, Maddie Hemmesch, Beth Gustafson, Jenny Vondenkamp and Sherise Smith.

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Deacon Fred St. Jean married the couple Oct. 12, 2012, at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, the same place both the bride and groom took first communion. Tyler can even be seen in a group photo standing behind his future bride. Neither remembers their paths crossing in such a significant way, but they did.

They were both confirmed at St. Andrew’s, too.

On their first anniversary they will be in their 10th year as a couple. On their 10th anniversary they will be in their 20th year. And so on.

Maddie asked Tyler recently if he thought he knew everything about her, and he said absolutely not. “That’s why I have the next 50, 60 years,” he told his bride, who could do nothing but smile upon hearing this.

And they have a role model to follow in Anne and Guy Poce, Maddie’s grandparents, who have been married 55 years.

Tied to community

Since returning to the Elk River area, Tyler got involved in coaching wrestling and football. The couple now lives in Plymouth, and they hope to buy a house in the Elk River area, perhaps in Rogers or Otsego.

Tyler has backed off of the coaching for now, so he can focus on his insurance business and getting their first house. He remains involved in local athletics through the Elk River wrestling program’s booster club. Maddie is focused on her nursing career right now. The couple sees children in their future but they say they’re not in a hurry, either.

They continue to share a zest for going and doing, whether its biking, snow-tubing or horseback riding or something they have never tried before.

They say the key to their success so far and into the future has been and will be patience and communication and having fun together.

“You have to remember to have fun,” Tyler said.

He has even taken in some plays at the request of his bride. One he said he enjoyed. The musical was a bit much for him. Maddie has let Tyler drag her to a full day of wrestling at the University of Minnesota. They both enjoy Twins games at Target Field.

Both seem to be attentive to each other’s needs, goals and dreams. They have made sure to steer clear of regrets.

After all, they want to get the most out of their next 50 to 60 years or more together.

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