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By Erin Schwager

A lasting love story

Orchard couple share secrets to living happily ever after


February 20, 2020

Courtesy photo

I do • Maxine and Marvin Haswell were married Aug. 13, 1950 and will celebrate their 70th anniversary in August. The couple said people should focus on the positive aspects of anything put in front of them.

Elvis Presley once sang, "Take my hand, take my whole life too, for I can't help falling in love with you."

As trends and fads fade, it seems people still gravitate toward finding good careers, a soulmate and creating families of our own.

Luckily, young people like me have grown up with people in our community to be some of the best role models for future generations to look up to.

Marvin and Maxine Haswell, a couple from Orchard, are well-known for being high school sweethearts. Although the couple doesn't think their story sticks out compared to others, several young people hope to find love and develop a relationship, like these two have, and cherish for all their lives.

The Haswell's story began when they were in high school. The couple can't pinpoint their exact first date, but they are sure it had to be at some high school event.

Was it was love at first sight?

They both giggled and Marvin said, "Well, she did look pretty good when she was a sophomore."

They spent a lot of time going on picnics, fishing and attending a few movies when the Rex Theatre was running in Orchard.

Orchard Public School would sometimes go on picnics at the roller-skating rink in Plainview, and that was typically a pretty big deal then, according to the couple.

Maxine graduated high school at age 16. For their proposal, they went to supper at their friend's house. Vern and Jeannine Kellogg farmed north of Orchard and they hosted supper the night Marvin gave Maxine the ring.

"I turned 18 on Aug. 12, 1950; my folks gave me one of the stipulations that I had to be 18 to get married. We got married the day after my 18th birthday," said Maxine.

The couple was united in marriage at the United Methodist Church in Orchard. Two cousins stood on each side of them.

The high school sweethearts did go on a honeymoon. They believe they saved around $85 for a trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota.

Maxine said, "We had a clunker of a car, a '41 Mercury, and Marvin would fill the trunk with used oil because the car would take up more oil than gas."

At the time, Marvin worked as a mechanic for Thelanders. Several customers would come in for oil changes, but whenever Ralph Shrader came in, Marvin would save the old oil and put it in his car.

Maxine was a school van driver for 25 years, where she spent most of her time traveling to Inman.

The couple lived in the basement of a house in Orchard, where Arvid and Renita Erb now reside.

"We started out with peach crates in the kitchen for her to put her kitchen stuff in, and back then, people were just lucky to have a house to live in," said Marvin.

When they built the top, and it was 24 square feet at the time. They added another 14 feet when they started having children.

"Mrs. Kenny Bruce saw me on the street one day, and she said, 'Marvin, I can always tell when you're going to have a baby because you add another room to your house,'" laughed Marvin.

They had another house built where they currently live in Orchard and moved when their son, Brett, was about three years old.

They have lived in the current house for about 57 years.

Marvin and Maxine have three children, eight grandchildren and three step-grandchildren. If everyone comes to family events, there will be a total of 47 people.

Some of their family traditions include having Easter at their home every year on Palm Sunday. An attendance of 30 is what they usually expect for their Easter celebration.

Both of their sons are in the service, so the couple would take a trip in the summer to visit them.

Together they have traveled to Panama, Alaska and Nova Scotia. They estimate they have visited Europe three or four times.

While their kids were growing up, they always tried to take a week off during the summer to go to the Black Hills, Colorado or another fun destination.

Nowadays, the things the couple do for fun slightly differ, and now they try to kill time by putting puzzles together. They were even hard at work on a 1,000-piece puzzle before this interview.

When the weather is nice, Marvin still does woodworking.

Reminiscing, Maxine said, "We have three children, we've had sick children, we've had well children, what normal families have, but when you look back at it, you just give God all the credit for giving us what we have and where we have been and being with us throughout the good and the bad."

The couple also stressed that no matter what, people should always look at the good side of things instead of the bad. Unfortunately, two of their children have had serious types of cancers,

Erin Schwager

Married life • Maxine and Marvin Haswell enjoy traveling, putting puzzles together and visiting with family. The Orchard couple will celebrate 70 years of marriage in August.

"I think that is the hard, hard thing ... is when your children get ill. But they are doing well, and we are thankful for their progress," said Maxine.

With the couple approaching their 70th wedding anniversary in August, I asked them some tips on how to find and keep such a loving relationship as theirs.

With passion, Maxine said, "When you choose a mate, be very careful. I feel like you really need to keep God in your plans and in your home, and I think you'll survive."

Marvin had a big smile on his face when he said, "She keeps me straight."

Quick to respond, Maxine laughed and said, "Be the boss."

Elvis Presley sings, "Shall I stay? Would it be a sin?"

If we take Marvin and Maxine Haswell's advice, I think we should choose to stay. We all still have so much hope to find the person we're so excited to spend every day with and go on this adventure called life.


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