Still Going Strong

Shared by Bonnie and Steve Biedermann

Each time Bonnie watches the videotape of her third birthday, she recalls that Steve was one of the 12 children who attended her party. Steve, was six.

Old home videos show Steve watching Bonnie at her third birthday party.

Bonnie and Steve were the eldest children of two Austin, Minnesota, dentists. Their dads, one from Florida and the other from northern Minnesota, had selected Austin, a city of less than 20,000
people, to launch their respective dental practices and to raise their families. Austin’s claim to fame has been as home to the Hormel Meat Packing Company — the folks who make SPAM.

The two dentists became “best of friends,” and, shortly thereafter, the families became close, sharing a love of cooking and classical music.

Bonnie’s parents asked each of their four children to select one musical instrument to study. In addition, each had to learn to play the piano. Bonnie selected the violin as her instrument; her three siblings chose cello, clarinet, and percussion.

Steve and Bonnie playing their violins at a family Christmas concert.

Steve’s parents also encouraged each of their children to learn a musical instrument. Steve chose the violin, while his four siblings studied cello, trumpet, trombone, and clarinet. Each Christmas, the nine children delivered a Christmas concert for their parents and guests.
Since the two families lived three blocks apart, it was natural for the children to spend time at each other’s homes. Bonnie recalls how she loved to be invited to the Biedermann home for dinner and a sleepover with Steve’s sister, Mary Kay.

In early 1964, Steve’s thoughts about Bonnie turned romantic. Returning home from a 13-month tour of duty in post-war Korea, he popped the question. She said “yes,” and they were married in November 1964. They have three children and seven grandchildren.

That relationship, beginning at a third birthday party, is still going strong 73 years later, including 56 years of marriage.

Residents since 2017, a more recent photo of the Biedermanns in front of Lake Fountain