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Tom Pantera | Johnson Publications

Wauneta Care and Therapy Center residents Burdette and Jackie Wilson celebrated their 73rd anniversary Sunday.

‘It just happens’: Wilsons celebrate 73-year marriage

Burdette Wilson has a one-word answer when asked what 73 years of marriage has been like.
    “Wonderful,” he says with a wide smile.
    Burdette, 94, and Jackie Wilson, 92, celebrated the milestone last weekend. They spent much of their lives farming near Benkelman, but now are residents of Wauneta Care and Therapy Center.
    “He married the farmer’s daughter,” said the couple’s son, Bill. “He was working for grandpa.”
    Not that it started well. “I think she said, ‘I wouldn’t go out with him if he was the last man on earth,’” Bill said. But over time, the two got to know each other, and the rest is marital history.
    “They were always very devoted to each other,” said Bill’s wife, Kim. “They always lived on the farm.”
    They eventually had five children: Gladdie Wilson, now of Olathe, Kansas; Alyce Wilson, Omaha; Kathy Walgren, Wauneta; Bill, Benkelman; and Rich, Wood River.

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