Our congratulations go out to Eric and Betty Lundberg of Promised Land Road in the town of Portville: On May 17, 1952, they were married in the Wesleyan Church of Cattaraugus, 65 years ago today.
Mrs. Lundberg tells us she and her husband will celebrate quietly today with lunch at the Glen Iris Inn at Letchworth State Park. A family celebration is planned at their church, Hillside Wesleyan on Prospect Avenue, this Saturday.
“Eric and I met when I was 16 and clerking at the Corner Drug Store in Cattaraugus, my hometown,” she says. “I graduated from Cattaraugus and he graduated from Southwestern near Jamestown. He was working on his uncle’s farm when we met.”
Mr. Lundberg, whose father was born in Sweden, enlisted in the U.S. Navy and the couple were married halfway through his four-year enlistment. The Lundbergs settled in the Olean area.
“We don’t make changes,” Mrs. Lundberg says. “We have lived on our corner for 59 years, and have been members of Hillside Wesleyan Church since 1960. Eric worked at Olean Wholesale 32 years and I worked for Cattaraugus County 20 years. Our kids started kindergarten at Portville Central School and graduated from Portville Central.”
Mrs. Lundberg says she feels the modest beginnings of their marriage — “We were too poor not to stay together” — made them realize very early how important love and family were to them. That kind of commitment to each other made for a long and happy marriage.
The Lundbergs were also happy with their location on Promised Land Road, a perfect place to raise children who were exposed to small-town fun and values.
“It was just such a nice location for a family,” she says. “It is a wonderful neighborhood and we had almost 2 acres of land for ball games and other fun.”
The Lundbergs have a daughter, Janis, who is married to Dr. David Kahler. They have three daughters, Nora (married to Stephen Hill) and Hanna and Sara. Their son, Col. Karl Lundberg, and his wife, Jennifer, have three grown children, Siri, Benjamin and Daniel. Siri and her husband, Kirk Johnson, are parents to Lucia, Asher and Willow — making Eric and Betty Lundberg great-grandparents.
Mrs. Lundberg, 85, stays active by writing and speaking — she often is the guest speaker, for instance, for Inter-Church Women gatherings in her hometown of Cattaraugus.
“I keep writing,” she tells us, having completed a writing assignment in April for the Nazarene Publishing Co. “I have sold more than 500 articles and short stories.”
She believes that her writing has helped her stay sharp, and she credits her husband, 87, for being supportive and understanding all those years when she was coming up against a deadline.
“I have to say sometimes it can be hard to be married to a writer,” she says. “Sometimes he had to open a can for supper … but he did it because (my writing) was a big part of our life.”
The couple has also traveled to Sweden, where Mr. Lundberg has extended family, three times, as well as Scotland, England and Hawaii.