One day in the late 1940s, a small-town girl from Wild Rose, Wis. decided she wanted to become a flight attendant.
She enrolled in summer school at a college 40 miles away from her hometown.
Meanwhile, a small-town boy from Wittenberg, Wis. had just been released from military service and decided he wanted to become a dentist. He also enrolled at the same college.
And on that first day of class, Roland Rothman laid eyes on his future wife.
“I walked in the door and just looking around I saw Beth sitting there and I said ‘gee, she’s a cute gal,'” said Roland.
That night at a school dance, Roland saw Beth again and asked her to dance. They had an instant connection and began dating right away.
Almost 70 years later, that connection remains.
“We were just happy together, we spent a lot of time together,” said Roland. “We just fortunately lucked out.”
They had a simple wedding at the church where Beth was baptized. Their reception was held in the church basement.
There was also no fancy proposal, just two people who knew they wanted to spend their lives together.
After their wedding, Roland began dental school. They would go on to have two children biologically and then they decided to adopt a daughter from Korea to complete their family.
One of their sons became ill as a child, something that would ultimately bring Roland and Beth closer together.
“When you have a sick child, you compromise between the two of you because you know he needs you,” said Roland.
Roland had a successful career as a dentist while Beth spent 25 years as a teacher. She never did become a flight attendant, something she says she thought of on a whim.
But if it wasn’t for that random idea, she may have never met Roland.
They moved to Milwaukee after retiring to be closer to their son, and recently, moved to a retirement community.
And they say they’d do it all over again, given the chance.
“If you’re lucky enough to find the right person, you’ve got 90 percent of it made,” said Roland. “The other 10 percent you can compensate for.”
Beth adds that you just have to follow your heart.
“I don’t think it’s something you can advise,” she said. “I think it’s intuitive and you grow together.”