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Always and forever

This family has found key to marriage success
By: Joyia Emard Loomis News Staff Writer
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There's not a perfect person or marriage, but you work towards it, said Dena Schmidt, of Loomis. Schmidt and her husband, Mike, along with their two married daughters and her husband's parents, span three generations of love and marriage ranging from newlywed to golden anniversary. All of the couples were recently able to reflect on their relationships and shared their thoughts on successful marriages. Jack and Mary Schmidt, Dena's mother- and father-in-law, have been married for almost 50 years and have lived in Loomis since 1974. They've raised six children, who all live in the area, and have been blessed with 29 grandchildren and one great grandchild. Mary describes their years of married life as filled with lots of compromises, while Jack says Mary is an easy person to live with because she tolerates my ways. Tolerance and compromise, they say, are key to a successful marriage. They also attribute their faith to strengthening their marriage. They are both practicing Mormons who were married in the Temple, which they believe seals their marriage for eternity. Sometimes, when there are hard spots, you know there is a bigger goal than winning the fight, Jack said. There are some great times and if you don't stay married long enough you won't be able to experience them. Jack and Mary enjoy the success of their children and share the joy of their grandchildren. Jack's own parents who are both deceased were married for 67 years. Jack said his parents separated once, but were committed to their marriage. He said his father always kept his family as his first priority. They had issues, but the marriage was more important than running away from the problems, he said. Jack and Mary's oldest son, Mike, has been married to Dena for 26 years. They are both Del Oro High School graduates (classes of 1977 and 1979, respectively), who fell for each other after high school and have six children and one grandchild together. The world is so rushed and fast-paced now, you have to make a point of spending time together, Dena said. The two go on dinner-dates twice a month and occasionally take a long weekend or vacation together. Dena laments that too many people go into marriage with the expectation that if things don't work out, they'll just get a divorce. Her husband thinks the key to their successful marriage is that they've played a lot together through their children's sports and activities. Dina and Mike's oldest daughter, Krista Drinkwater, of Manteca, has been married five years, is the mother of a two-year-old and is expecting her second child in a few months. Drinkwater says that compromise and communication have been the key ingredients in the success of her marriage to her husband, Justin. When I got engaged my mom told me ˜Be flexible.' She said things won't always work out the way I want, but to take it as it comes, she said. Drinkwater's sister, Ashley Ross, is a newlywed who lives in Idaho with her husband Steve. The couple just celebrated their first wedding anniversary in December. Ross explains it was the example of her parents and all her aunts and uncles that helped her determine what she was looking for in a husband and how she wanted her relationship to be. My Grandpa (Jack) told me he always gives my grandma a kiss and tells her he loves her before they go to sleep, no matter what. I think I try and do that, she said.