Love story endures for more than five decades


Kathy and Randy Steinert agree that “being good natured and good humored” are qualities important to a good marriage.

SENIOR LIFE Muffy Berlyn


For Kathy Steinert, it was love at first sight.

And after more than five decades of marriage, the qualities for a good marriage still are there for her and her husband, Randy Steinert.

After marrying at a young age, Kathy Steinert, 70, and husband Randy Steinert, 71, of Barefoot Bay, are celebrating their 54th wedding anniversary this month. The couple, who originally are from Oshkosh, Wis., reflected on their marriage together for Senior Life.

Kathy, a retired sales representative, said that “the humor, the happiness, the sharing and the caring” is what has kept their marriage together for so many years.

They met in the ninth grade.

“I fell in love with him the minute I saw him,” she said. “He was a country boy and came into town. I was 14, he was 15. He asked me out during summer vacation to a ballgame. … He was a football player, stocky, big, with dark hair, beautiful eyes. And eyelashes that never quit. They still are there with the warm smile.”

Randy Steinert, a retired police sergeant from the Oshkosh Police Department, said his first impression was that he “thought she had definite possibilities.”

“She dressed nice, but the skirts were always down to the knee,” he said. “But she had definite possibilities to improve and she did. She keeps right on improving and is now a very sophisticated, very competent, confident woman.”

Randy said he feels the qualities important for a good marriage are: “someone who is loyal and will stick with you no matter what. Patience on both (sides), and being good natured and good humored.”

Kathy recalled how young they were.

“I was 16, he was 17, when we got married,” she said. “We were juniors in high school and our son was on his way. That was 1964. Back in those days you were one of those girls, and you immediately had to quit school. We were madly in love with each other and so happy we were having a baby, and oblivious to our ages or anything.”

With the permission of both sets of parents, they went in search of a place that would perform a marriage ceremony for a couple that young. After being turned down in Oshkosh, they went to Dubuque, Iowa. From there, they were sent to Kohoka, Mo. The legal marrying age was 15 for both a bride and a groom in Kohoka. They tied the knot at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

“From that time out, it’s always caring about the other person more than yourself and being together on every decision, everything we’ve done, everything we do,” Kathy said. “It’s just been a great, great marriage. It’s just been wonderful.”