Elsie (Janni) and Erwin Portner were married May 6, 1945 in Searles MN at St. John’s Catholic Church.
Erwin worked as a carpenter most of his life and Elsie was a homemaker as well as being employed by 3M Company of New Ulm.
Both were very active in the community as well as their parish church.
They did not have children so their nieces and nephews have become especially important to them. Both have been close with their living siblings as well.
After living an honest life together, the couple retired at Orchard Hill Assisted Living in New Ulm in 2010. At Orchard Hill, the couple loved to play Bingo, Sheep head, 500, Dominoes, and enjoyed social gatherings and musical entertainment… (especially old time music).
As the couple aged to 96 and 91, the need for more nursing care for Erwin became evident and they recently moved to Oak Hills on May 1st where they will celebrate 70 years of marriage.
Orchard Hill Assisted Living has been involved in a program called “Dreams do come true” (along with other communities from Welcome Home Management Co.) and when asked what Erwins dream was one afternoon, he responded by saying, “I would like to take Elsie out on one last date…but I can’t do it…I have no way of taking her out.”
So, Community Life Coordinator, Cindee Schewe decided to take action. She contacted Knight’s Luxury Limo service near Comfrey, MN to see if owner, Richard McMullen would be willing to transport the couple. He said “yes”, and from there the dream began to develop.
Schewe then called the Kaiserhoff. They also said “yes” to two meals compliments of the Kaiserhoff. A to Zinnea Floral got wind of the story and offered flowers for the occasion, the Liquer Mart of New Ulm jumped on board with champagne for the elderly couple. Schewe spoke with Kevin Sweeny from the New Ulm Journal and he agreed this was a story to be told.
The Limo bus holds 16 people so Schewe contacted family members to join Elsie and Erwin in the limo ride of their life. The bus was filled in no time and Erwin’s dream of taking his wife out on a date will come true Wednesday, May 6th to celebrate a beautiful marriage of 70 years!…dreams really do come true!
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