After being in separate Mandan nursing homes, couple finally reunites for 70th anniversary

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After being separated for a year due to the pandemic, one couple was reunited for a special day.

The pandemic made what seemed so close so far for Ottmar and Mary Barth, who have been together since they were 20 years old — but reside in separate long-term care facilities.

“Well, just with them being in a facility, it was a big struggle that we couldn’t be in there and be together. We lost 12 months of memories with them. So that was a tough time,” shared Carol Ternes, their youngest daughter.

Now fast forward to Friday, they are sitting side-by-side, celebrating a huge milestone together: 70 years of marriage!

“I asked her to dance and I stepped on her toes. She don’t remember that,” said Ottmar.

After all the years together and five kids, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, it feels just like yesterday they said “I do.”

“Got up early in the morning, had to milk the cows before I went down to her place. And had to be down there at 8 o’clock. Say the rosary before we went to church. 10 o’clock mass. And then we went to New Salem and had dinner and danced all afternoon,” shared Ottmar.

The couple says it doesn’t take much to make it to 70 years.

“No secret, just work together,” shared Mary.
“Just one day at a time,” shared Ottmar.

The couple decided to start their anniversary by attending mass at the Corpus Christi Catholic Church with their family.

Mary and Ottmar then received a personal blessing from the priest..

“We’re grateful that we can get ’em out and that they’re able to come out and be together,” shared Ternes.

The family went on to a luncheon in honor of the couple at the youngest daughter’s home.

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