Faced with heart and kidney failure along with the prospect of hospice care, one man turned to family and his health team in order to find his way back home
Tasty food and romantic meals seem to be cooked right into Gene and Shirley Schmiedel’s love story. At 81, Gene reaches back in time with ease, recalling an encounter at Mike’s Grill on 10th and Oregon Streets in Oshkosh where he first asked Shirley on a date.
What all began with a young man working up the courage to ask a young woman out has since evolved into a bond that has lasted through Armstrong’s moon walk and Woodstock, remained steadfast as the new millennium turned and Facebook became the newest technology to learn.
As history has revealed itself layer by intricate layer, this pair has experienced the remarkable and the devastating, the Earth-shattering and the everyday, and the Schmiedels have done so together all along the way.
As members of Elks Lodge and regulars at George’s Gaslight Inn, enjoying an evening out at a local restaurant has become one of their favorite shared pastimes in recent years.
"They have good food there, I tell ya," Gene says. "Good people, good food."
It wasn’t all that long ago, though, that these love birds were reminiscing about times past and making new memories within the walls of a nursing home. Stricken with heart and kidney failure, Gene was sent to Bethel Home – a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility – in April 2014 following several days at Mercy Medical Center.
Given an estimated six months to live and faced with the very real prospect of being separated from Shirley for the first time in well over half a century, Gene decided he had other plans.
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Published November 2015