After 75 years of marriage, couple would do it all again

by Joni Astrup

Associate Editor

Genevieve and Marble Wood have been married for 75 years, and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’d do it over again if I had a chance,” Marble Wood said.

Genevieve and Marble Wood on May 23, 1938. They celebrated 75 years of marriage on May 23, 2013.
Genevieve and Marble Wood on May 23, 1938. They celebrated 75 years of marriage on May 23, 2013.

Originally from Plainview, Minn., they met through 4-H. Marble worked for the county organizing 4-H clubs. When he found that he needed someone to talk about the girls’ projects, he called on Genevieve. She had been the Wabasha County 4-H Style Queen and the Minnesota State Fair Reserve Style Queen.

“She knew what she was talking about,” he recalled.

Two or three nights a week they rode around together, usually by team and sleigh, helping start new 4-H clubs and keeping them going. Marble said Genevieve was good company.

“After two years of riding around like that, we decided we might as well be married,” he said.

They tied the knot on the morning of May 23, 1938, at the Catholic church in Plainview with members of their families in attendance. Then they left on a trip to Chicago, where they visited a planetarium and rode the overhead train from their motel to the stockyards.

After returning home, they had a wedding dance at the Greenwood Prairie Farmers Club, which had a good hardwood floor for dancing.

They settled into married life. For the first 15 years they were married, Marble Wood farmed with horses. He drove six horses and his dad drove seven. The horses pulled equipment like a plow and a cultivator.

Genevieve Wood cared for their growing family, which eventually came to number 10 children (including two sets of twins). At one point they had five children under the age of 6.

She also had a large garden and canned more than 100 quarts of produce each year. She learned how to can from her mother, and said she canned everything that was possible to can.

They left farming and Plainview in 1967 and moved to Elk River, where Marble Wood worked for the Cargill research farm. In 1972 they moved to a small hobby farm in Zimmerman. In 1976 they moved to Kenyon, and he went to work at a nursing home. They returned to Elk River in 1986, and in 2009 moved to Coon Rapids. Today they live in their own apartment at Epiphany’s Assisted Living. Marble Wood is 97 and Genevieve Wood, 96.

Genevieve Wood said they’ve had an interesting life and a healthy one.

“We didn’t have time to get sick,” Marble Wood added with a chuckle.

Asked their secret to 75 years of marriage, Genevieve Wood said she doesn’t argue.

“I never would argue with anybody. So that way you can kind of settle things peacefully,” she said.

Marble Wood added: “We say what we think, and we go on about our business.” (Editor’s note: Genevieve and Marble Wood’s daughter-in-law, Cathy Wood, contributed to this story.)