Bob and Joyce Becklin celebrate over 60 years of marriage

By Elizabeth Sias

As Joyce flips through her wedding photos, her husband Bob smiles with her as they remember the day and the time leading up to it.

Bob and Joyce Becklin of Cambridge have been married for 63 years. Photo by Elizabeth Sias

Bob and Joyce Becklin have reached a milestone few other couples have — they’ve been  married more than 60 years.

Bob was raised in Cambridge, and Joyce in Isanti, both graduating from Cambridge—Bob in 1944, Joyce in 1946.

They met in high school, but didn’t start spending time together until after Bob graduated. For their last time together, some of his classmates rented a cabin for two weeks by Spectacle Lake, close to where Joyce was working.

“I kind of took a shining to her,” Bob said. After that, the two spent most of their time together during those two weeks.

Soon, Bob joined the Army, while Joyce finished her last two years of high school. She dated others during that time, but she and Bob couldn’t seem to stop thinking about each other—they kept in touch through letters while Bob was stationed overseas.

“She had graduated and was working in Minneapolis for a short period of time,” Bob said. “She was lonesome down there, and I was lonesome overseas, so we really struck up a good writing correspondence.”

When Bob knew he was coming home from Korea, he wrote Joyce to tell her he would be home for New Year’s Eve. Plans changed when he was delayed in California, however.

“She didn’t know I was in the States, and I was kind of living up to my other traits of being late,” Bob said.

“He went fishing,” Joyce joked.

When he arrived in Minneapolis that evening, he had a friend pick him up and they decided they would try to find Joyce, who was out with her sister and brother-in-law.

“I was dancing with my brother-in-law, and I looked over at the door and there he stood in his uniform,” Joyce recalled. “I almost had heart attack. I didn’t know he was in town and there he was.

“She came flying across the dance floor and she gave me a big hug and I gave her a big hug,” Bob said.

Finally reunited, the two became good friends a developed a relationship that led to their marriage in Isanti on Sept. 18, 1948.

Now, 63 years later, Bob and Joyce still smile and laugh together in their home of East Terrace Cooperative in Cambridge.

Joyce says one secret to their successful marriage is staying friends throughout.

Bob and Joyce Becklin on their wedding day in Isanti on Sept. 18, 1948.

“You’ve got to be friends,” she said. “You can’t just be lovers.”

“I think we’re a good team,” Bob added. “We have our differences of opinion, but when you love each other and you’re kind, you try to do the right thing.”

He said it’s okay to argue, but it’s important to talk it out rather than going silent and ignoring the issue.

“Some people get mad and they quit talking, and I don’t think that’s healthy,” Bob said. “It’s okay, when you disagree, to talk about it. And maybe you get a little mad, but at least you continue talking.”

Over the years, Bob and Joyce have experienced much of life together. They have three children and grandchildren.

They recall their favorite trip touring Norway, Finland and Sweden, where Joyce visited the small town where her mother was born and raised until she immigrated to the United States.

Bob was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives for 10 years before becoming president of Peoples Bank for 25 years, which allowed the couple many more opportunities for travel during an annual banking seminar.

For more than 60 years, Bob and Joyce have spent nearly every Valentine’s Day together. This year is no different—the couple will enjoy a dinner party at East Terrace Cooperative.

“Don’t quit in a week,” Joyce joked as advice to young newlyweds. “Being friends and having the same interests is important.”