Faith and love go a long way
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. After 50 years of marriage, Ted and Donna Magnuson have simple advice for building a life together. “Be honest with each other,” said Donna, sitting at the dining table at her West Glenwood home.”And be able to overlook their faults,” Ted added. “Everybody has faults.”The Magnusons also credit their strong Christian principles for helping them reach their silver anniversary in June.”From our point of view, we want everyone to be a Christian,” she said. “If one is a Christian, they might strive to find another Christian to find harmony.”The couple met in 1956 in Denver when they worked for the William J. Burns International Detective Agency. Ted was a detective and Donna was a secretary.”I would sit on her desk and talk to her,” Ted recalled.
Ted, 83, and Donna, 76, were raised in different parts of Colorado. He was a Swedish city boy from a Dutch neighborhood in south Denver. “When I was a boy, all the streets in south Denver were dirt,” Ted recalled. “I went to all the schools in south Denver … Washington park, the University of Denver … I’m educated beyond my intelligence.”She was a German country girl from a small town outside of Fort Collins.”My family had an 80-acre farm. We even had an outhouse,” she said. “We helped our dad with beets, corn, wheat and hay. I really envied the girls in the city because they didn’t have to work in the beet fields. But it was a very good experience.”Ted and Donna dated for about a month and were engaged for a year before exchanging vows on June 22, 1957. They visited the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park in Cañon City for their honeymoon. Ted’s family was happy with his decision to marry.”My dad thought Donna was out of this world,” he said, smiling.For Donna, marriage came just in the nick of time.”Back then, if you were over 25 you were considered an old maid,” she said. “I was 26.”
Over the next 50 years, Ted and Donna would enjoy a life centered around their strong faith, hard work and love of family. They have three children – one daughter who lives in Alaska and two sons, one in Glenwood Springs and the other in Amarillo, Texas.”Children, they come first,” Ted said. “And if they don’t come first, then you’re not a good parent.”The Magnusons moved to Glenwood Springs in 1967. Ted was among the first instructors to teach at Colorado Mountain College.”We came here ’67, before any (CMC) buildings,” he said. “The first year, I kind of directed and came up with the curriculum. I was about the eighth person hired.”At CMC, Ted taught professional photography, technical writing, law and business management. He also filled in as interim pastor at various churches, including the Glenwood Mennonite Church and houses of worship in Craig, Rifle and Grand Junction.”That was more of a hobby,” he said. “A calling.”Donna stayed home raising the couple’s three children, working sporadically as a secretary and retail merchandiser or making crafts to sell at festivals or art shows. Ted retired from CMC in 1985, after 22 years of teaching. But it’s fatherhood that’s made him the happiest.
“Having children you love is important,” he said. Sharing the same family values – and never giving up on love – is why Ted and Donna can brag they’ve been married five decades.”We are Christians and we’ve got to make it,” Donna said.Contact April Clark: 945-8515, ext. email@example.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
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