BioA: Hass, Mr./Mrs. Art (70th - 2012)
Contact: Robert Lipprandt
Surnames: Blazel, Block, Haas, Kloehn, Mayr, Morrigson
----Source: The Abbotsford Tribune - Phonograph (Abbotsford, WI) 06/20/2012
Raised just a few miles apart in the rural landscape of central Wisconsin, Art and Isabelle Haas didn’t have to look too far to find each other. Now, after five years of courtship and 70 years of marriage, the Abbotsford couple’s still growing family stretches across Wisconsin and beyond.
The couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on June 11, getting together with five of their sons and daughters and two grandchildren for a brunch in the morning and cake and ice ream in the afternoon.
When Isabelle, 91, and Art, 92, first exchanged vows in the summer of 1942, the world was a much different place. Just a few months after they got married at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Abbotsford, Art went off to serve in the European theater of World War II.
Isabelle, whose maiden name is Mayr, was born in the town of Holton in Marathon County, while Art was born and raised in the town of Mayville in Clark County.
"We were neighbors," she said. "We knew each other practically all our lives."
Art says they dated for "a long time" before they tied the not, probably at least five years, Isabelle guesses.
Like many people of their generation, the Second World War disrupted the firs years of their marriage.
Art said at first he was designated as "4F" - unqualified for military service - because of a childhood injury of unknown origins on his lower leg that left permanent scars.
"They figure it (his leg) must have gotten pinched between something and then got an infection," he said.
But, apparently, the U.S. military was short on fighting men during that time in the war. Two weeks after they got married, Art said he got a letter stating that his classification had been upgraded to 1A - available for unrestricted military service.
Isabelle said he was gone for about three years, which included 18 months overseas in the battle zone.
The couple went on to have seven children, and they made their living as farmers east of Unity for about 32 years. After retiring, Art continued to help his sons when they started farming.
Their children include Art Jr., who passed away in 2001; Joyce (Reggie) Morrigson, who lives in Fork Valley, VA; Rita (Richard) Kloehn, who lives near Unity after retiring from the Marshfield Clinic; Robert (Marion) Haas, who works for Berg Equipment after retiring from farming; Judy (Dennis) Blazel, who lives in Sun Prairie and works for Goodyear; Leonard (Mary) Haas, who helps his son farming; and Karen (Rich) Block, who works at Time Federal Bank in Medford.
Their daughter, Joyce, was the only one who moved out of Wisconsin, when she went to live in Washington, D.C. starting her 40 year career in the FBI.
Art and Isabelle also have 23 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren, with two on the way.
"That's a bunch," Isabelle said.
One of their grandchildren, Joshua Block, tragically passed away 17 years ago. Although their oldest son has also passed away, his widow, Joanne Haas, remains a part of the family as a daughter - in - law.
The couple moved into their home on Pine Street in the city of Abbotsford in 1980, and are still living there on their own. They’ve never really thought about moving anywhere else.
"We’re happy here," Isabelle said.
Daughter Rita Kleohn said she and her siblings were happy to see their parents make it to the 70 – year milestone.
"It was just fantastic for all of us because we never thought our dad would make it." Kloehn said, noting that their father is in hospice care.
Kloehn said her own kids and nieces and nephews have grown up knowing their grandparents’ generosity.
"My parents were always there whenever you needed anything - always," she said, whether it was for babysitting or help building a shed.
When asked what their secret is for maintaining such a long marriage, Isabelle said some of their inspiration came from improving on their own parents’ relationships
"I think it must be lots of love and determination. Determination because both sets of our parents were sort of against our marriage. We were determined to show them that they were wrong and we were right. But, now they’re not here to show 'em."
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