For Jim and Lynne Heim, of St. Peters, celebrating their 50th anniversary is more than just a milestone, it’s a family tradition that could land them in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Jim and Lynne are the sixth consecutive couple on Jim’s side of the family to have reached 50 years of wedded bliss. His parents did it, so did his grandparents, great grandparents, great-great grandparents and great-great-great grandparents.
Lynne said they discovered the trend accidentally years ago while researching the family tree. The achievement seemed singularly unique so Jim reached out to the famed record keeper. His family holds the current record, which can be viewed at guinnessworldrecords.com, search “Most generations to celebrate a golden wedding anniversary.” It’s a title he and Lynne are hoping to retain.
“You can’t apply until after you succeed,” Jim said. Which means reaching their anniversary on June 26.
“We’re waiting until the date comes and then we’ll put the application in. I don’t know why we wouldn’t get it,” Lynne said.
To keep the record in the family, the pressure is on for their children.
“That’s what we tell them,” Lynne chided. “Our daughter has already made 25 so she’s halfway there. That’s what we tell her.”
The Heims have three children – two daughters and a son – as well as six grandchildren.
“My mother and father didn’t even make their 25th wedding anniversary but myself, two of my sisters and my one brother have made 50 years of marriage,” Lynne said. She said there’s really no secret, you just roll with the punches. “When there’s a good day, it’s a great day and when there’s a bad day, you just hang in there and move on to tomorrow.”
“There’s no perfect marriage,” Jim added. “It’s just two imperfect people that don’t give up, and promiscuity is not even considered. A lot of people when they think of marriage, they think, ‘Well, the minister married us.’ That’s not true. You married each other and you’ve taken a vow before God to stay together. I’m not saying that everybody can, but it’s what you strive for.”
Lynne added, “When there’s a union of two, it has to be from both. It can’t be just one. It has to be both of you with that covenant, with that commitment.
“Laughter. If you can laugh at each other and yourself that just helps through any of the rough times.”
The Heims ran their own house cleaning business (WOW Cleaning Service) for 28 year, working together every day.
“The WOW stood for Walk on Water,” Lynne said, because starting the business was a faith walk. “We just asked the Lord if this was what he wanted us to do and we had confirmation as soon as it took off. People asked, ‘How in the world did you do that (work together)?’ I said, ‘He’s my best friend.’”