Couple’s Love Lasts for 70 years

roy and dottie hazuka

By Dan Bechtold, Editor

Their love has endured for 70 years.  Today (Feb. 15) Roy and Dottie Hazuka will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.  The couple were married Feb. 15, 1947, at the Methodist Church in Winner. Rev. D. W. Nankivel officiated at the ceremony.

A story in the Winner Advocate back then said the bride wore a sea foam aqua wool dress with brown accessories. Her corsage was gladiolus and roses. Mrs. Roy Kindt, the bride’s sister, was her attendant.   A wedding dinner was held for close relatives in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Kindt.

On Feb. 18 at the Winner Regional long term care center there will be a family gathering from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. and at 2:30 p.m. it will be open to the public.   A card shower is also requested for the couple. Cards can be sent to Roy and Dottie Hazuka, Elder Inn, 956 E. 7th St., Apt. 123, Winner, S.D. 57580.

Dottie was a senior in high school when she met the love of her life. They courted from 1944 to 1947.  The couple met through a mutual friend. Dottie explained Roy grew up with a boy whose family was Dottie’s next door neighbor and Dottie graduated from high school with the same gentleman.

After their marriage, the couple lived in Winner for one year. She worked at William Assman insurance agency on Main Street and Roy worked at Beaulieu Hardware.

After one year in Winner, they moved back to the family farm near Witten. The couple lived on this farm for the next 50 years. The farm is located in Lone Tree Township.

The couple retired and moved to Winner in 1995 and have lived here for 22 years.

The farm was homesteaded in 1909 by Roy’s parents Anton and Susie Hazuka.

Dottie and Roy have enjoyed their 70 years of marriage. She says it takes a lot of commitment and communication between people. “It also takes a lot of love and hard work,” she added.  The couple love to dance and enjoy music. The Hazuka family band was started in 1989. It included Roy, his son, Roger, grandson Bradley and Fr. Arnold Kari, who was the pastor at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.  Roger said Fr. Kari was a friend and the two of them started doing polka masses.  Prior to that, a little band was set up by Hazuka’s aunt. The group would play at the Fireside Lounge in Oacoma. From there it grew into a dance band that played all over the state.   They would play at polka festivals, wedding anniversaries, birthdays and even played in Deadwood.  About five years ago the band disbanded.

There were some terrible winters living on the farm. The couple recalled a blizzard in 1978 when they both passed out in their home. They had a wall that was vented to the outside and the snow had filtered into the vent and plugged it shut.  Roger, who was living in a trailer near his folks farm house, woke up that morning at 4:30 a.m. and saw the screen door on the farm house flapping.  He got dressed and walked to the home where he found his mother passed out inside the home and his father was passed out near the front door.   Roger said he called Dr. Stiehl who told him to open all the windows in the home and get his parents outside. My mid-morning his parents were both fine and when the roads were open he took them to the doctor’s office to have them checked.

The Hazukas have two children: Roger of Huron and Diane Millslagle of Rapid City, 3 grandchildren and 5 great grand children.
The couple now live at the Elder Inn of Winner.

With their wedding anniversary so close to Valentine’s Day, the anniversary will be filled with love, hearts and roses.

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