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BREAKING NEWS

A Wee tale

By Staff | Mar 1, 2008

Eunice and Gerald Wee recalled their 68 years together Friday afternoon at Rosewood Manor. Above, Eunice enjoyed a laugh recalling old times as she visited Friday afternoon with her daughter-in-law Marilee Wee, son Gary, Gerald, and niece Beth Kraft. EDN photos by Michael Tidemann

For 68 years, Eunice Wee has been married to the Candy Man. Gerald has given her life humor, spirit, and a unique view of the world.

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In 1935, a sophomore girl named Eunice went to prom with a senior guy named Gerald. It was Eunice’s first prom, and after she and Gerald went to three more together, they said what the heck and were married a year later.

They’re still married.

Eunice and Gerald recalled their years together Friday at Rosewood Manor. Surrounded by memorabilia from up to 70 years ago, Eunice took center stage, her comments punctuated by Gerald’s comments.

Eunice displays some of the prizes from Gerald’s penny gumball machine route.

In 1936, Gerald went to work for Hoye Drug, where that same business remained for well over 60 years before becoming Remember When restaurant then Don Jose. Gerald later worked for Paris Cleaners and sold for the Curtis candy company.

Sept. 8, 1940, they were married in the same house as Eunice’s parents, and even in the same corner of the same room. They later moved to Davenport which Eunice recalled was not a good move except for the 10-cent ferry trips they could take back and forth across the Mississippi from Iowa to Wisconsin.

When Gary’s father called about a job on the railroad, they decided to return to Estherville.

They lived on South 10th Street in a house where their son, Gary, was born Sept. 28, 1941. That was the same day that Gerald bought his first penny gumball machine for a route that he later established.

They later moved into a house on Fifth Street where Gerald started his rabbit business. Always the entrepreneur, he also built a hamburger stand and bought a popcorn stand that he took to celebrations. Eunice recalled how Gerald would put plenty of salt in the popcorn so he could later go up into the grandstands and sell pop too.

Gerald and Eunice Wee in a photo from a few years ago.

It was after they moved to a $15-a-month upstairs apartment in Wallingford that Gerald started woodworking in his garage. He built bird feeders, doll cradles, lamps, you name it.

The Wees took plenty of trips in their time — places such as the Black Hills, Minnesota fishing trips, the Ozarks long before commercialization, Wisconsin Dells, the harbors near Duluth, and the North Dakota badlands.

In 1957, they moved to Estherville above a bank. Their 25th anniversary came in 1965. “We celebrated for a week,” Eunice said.

They moved again in 1976 when the telephone company decided to tear down the building they were living in, so they moved in with Eunice’s parents. In 1990 they celebrated their 50th anniversary.

It was after that when Eunice’s parents passed away and left them their home which Gerald and Eunice were still living in. It was the first home they ever owned.

More anniversaries came and passed. Last year was their 67th.

Friday’s stroll down memory lane was just really a way of enjoying it all over again.