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60 Years And ‘Still Holding Hands’
June 30, 2012
Betty & Dr. Bud Hertzog and Mayor Randy Rhoads
Tribune Photo/Fred Poese
By Mary Pechar
Mayor Randy Rhoads presented Bud and Betty Hertzog with a Proclamation at the surprise 60th Anniversary Celebration last Sunday.
According to the 2011 U.S. Census records nearly 14% of Jackson County residents are divorced. In contrast, Lee’s Summit recently helped celebrated Bud and Betty Hertzog’s 60th wedding anniversary.
If you are a long time Lee’s Summit resident you probably know them personally. Bud and Betty first met in the 1940’s as children attending church with their families. The First Baptist Church of Lee’s Summit was their place of worship then and remains so to this day.
The pair did not attend the same school until high school at LSHS. A friend suggested a double date and the rest became history.
If you have lived here for awhile you have probably at least heard the name. It would be hard not to with their active role in the community and civic organizations. They served as Jackson County Committeeman and County Committeewoman. While Bud was building his veterinary practice (Lee’s Summit Animal Hospital) farming and raising cattle, he also took time to be elected and serve in the Jackson County Legislature for 16 years, serve on the Lee’s Summit School Board and the LS Economic Development Council. All the while, Betty was busy raising five children and involved in all of the various school and community activities related to her family.
If you are new to the area, you couldn’t find better role models. And it doesn’t take much more than a glance to recognize the trust, love, affection and respect these two share.
“We both grew up with good Christian parents with strong work ethics,” Bud said. “They instilled that in us and we have tried to instill that in our children and grandchildren, honesty, integrity, public service. We have been blessed to be in a strong church, an area with a strong community spirit, a strong hometown spirit, a truly vibrant community.
“We regard our family as something special, every birthday and event is a family occasion. We all live within 40 miles and have a deep foundation in our family, the church and the community. One of our sons is a veterinarian also and I am lucky to have him practice with me. Another son and grandson farm the land we live on. Our daughter is our local banker and we are involved with our other two sons in a cattle operation.”
When asked to share the secrets to 60 happy years of marriage, they said, “We never thought about it, we just never considered we would ever be anything but married to each other.”
Being a Veterinary in General Practice has been an opportunity in variety for Bud and another part of their family life. The early days were different. During the early days of the practice there were 400 dairy farms in the county compared to one today. Betty said, “We always knew when they had closed the office because the phone at home would start to ring. We would be having dinner and the phone would ring. Of course it would be for Bud, we would continue dinner while he sat at the table asking the caller if there was blood? Or something else? As the boys got older he took them with him. The oldest two were strong boys and he had them wrestling those big animals holding them down”
Bud laughs as he adds, “I think I burned them out, only one of the four boys wanted to be a veterinarian.”
As they continue to share a glimpse of their lives together, you see the give and take, you see they are friends and soul mates but by no means a clone of each other. Betty said, “he is an eternal optimist, me, not so much so. I tend to worry after the details. Bud will tell me “life’s hard” and “don’t sweat the small stuff.” He is always quick to remind me that “life is not always a bed of roses”. He is a real people person. I like people, but I just like to be home, too.
“As you get older,” Betty continued, “you learn how important laughter is and not to take things so seriously. A lot of our friends have gone on cruises and I told Bud that might be nice. He asked me ‘but what do you do?’ So the Rotary cruise on Lake Lotawana came up and Bud told everyone he was taking me on a cruise for our anniversary.”
Bud added, “it was great, you didn’t need a passport, it was within our budget, we didn’t have to pack, everyone spoke English and we were home and in bed by midnight.”
Betty told her daughter and daughter-in-laws they were being interviewed about how to be married 60 years. A daughter-in-law told her “tell them to always hold hands.”
“We’ve had a good life,” Bud said, “and we intend to keep on having it.” Holding hands all the way.
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