PARMA, Ohio — Brother and sister Wendel Willmann and Eleanor Willmann Schmook were married five weeks apart in the summer of 1961 at Parma Lutheran Church.
Wendel and his wife, Doris (Meister) Willmann. and Eleanor Willmann and her husband, Charles Schmook, are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversaries this summer. Both couples raised their families in Parma and still live in the city.
The Willmanns were married on July 1, 1961; the Schmooks wed on Aug. 5, 1961. The Rev. R. Wayne Willmann, father of Eleanor and Wendel, officiated both ceremonies.
Charles “Chuck” Schmook, 87, is a lifelong Parma resident, who attended John Muir Elementary School and graduated from Parma Schaaf High School in 1951. He served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956.
After his military service, Schmook worked as a photo engraver at The Cleveland Press and the Akron Beacon Journal. He was a member of the graphic communications and Teamsters unions and served many years as secretary/treasurer of the state and local Allied Printing Trades Councils.
Since retiring, he has volunteered at the Parma Hunger Center for 26 years, serving as co-director for more than a decade. He enjoys team bowling, and for more than 40 years bowled weekly at Seven Hills Lanes.
His wife, Eleanor (Willmann) Schmook, 85, moved to Parma when she was in the fifth grade. She was the valedictorian of the first graduating class of Parma Senior High School in 1954. After college, she returned to teach at Thoreau Park Elementary School for a few years.
The couple raised three daughters. Eleanor Schmook enjoyed participating in and serving as president of the Parma Preschool PTA — at a time when there were more than 700 members. She also served as president of the Broadview Elementary School PTA.
The Schmook girls and their Willmann cousins all attended Parma City Schools K-12 (Broadview Elementary, State Road Elementary, Shiloh Junior High) and all five graduated from Parma Senior High School.
Eleanor Schmook later worked part-time in a secretarial position at a Parma church. Later, she returned to teaching and taught adults at MTI Business School in Cleveland.
The Schmooks have enjoyed traveling, camping and exploring the country in their motor home. They have visited all 50 states.
The couple has lived in the same house since their marriage and continue to be active members at Parma Lutheran Church, 75 years after they first met there.
Wendel and Doris Willmann met in 1959 at a Lakewood Presbyterian Church Young Adults Group event. Both were teachers at the time: Wendel teaching math and history at Parma Senior High School and Doris teaching at Milford School in Cleveland.
During the early years of their marriage, while raising their two children, they attended Kent State University for master’s in education degrees.
Doris Willmann specialized in educational supervision and administration. She later attended John Carroll University to add a K-12 certificate in reading. She also earned the Reading Recovery Certification from The Ohio State University.
She was a substitute teacher from 1970 to 1974 and later a reading teacher, from 1975 to 1977. She also taught 26 years at Lake Ridge Academy in North Ridgeville, three years in Cleveland, was a substitute teacher and later a volunteer tutor/classroom aide at Harrison School in Lakewood in her teaching career that spanned nearly 40 years.
She and Wendel enjoyed traveling during her school spring break each year.
Doris Willmann, 85, was honored in 2014 by her alma mater, West Tech High School in Cleveland, when she was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cleveland. She was also recognized and honored by Lake Ridge Academy and was inducted into its Hall of Fame.
Wendel Willmann, 86, taught 12 years at Parma Senior High School and Fairview High School. He then switched from teaching to become an attorney after graduating from Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 1969.
He began a law practice in Middleburg Heights in 1970, practicing law until his retirement in 2012.
He was a member of the last graduating class of Parma Schaaf High School in 1953. Willmann has served on numerous community, church and school boards since then. He is a 75-year Parma resident and was a 30-year member of the Parma Kiwanis Club, a 22-year member of the Parma Community General Hospital Health Care Foundation Board and was inducted into the Parma High School Hall of Fame.
Wendel also was a board member of the Parma Area Chamber of Commerce. He served three years as a Parma school board member in the early 1980s.
Since retirement, he has volunteered at the Parma Hunger Center along with his brother-in-law. The two men have been friends since before they became brothers-in-law. They played men’s softball together on the church team since their teens and attended Cleveland Browns football games for years as season ticket holders.
Parma Lutheran Church played a prominent role in the lives of both families. Schmook and Willmann took turns as chairman of the Stewardship Committee and as members of the Church Council, as well as often serving as ushers during worship services.
Their wives were Sunday School/Confirmation teachers and Church Council Committee members.
Although now active members of Royal Redeemer Lutheran Church in North Royalton, the Willmanns still maintain close ties to Parma Lutheran Church. They also keep busy with family, friends, traveling and church activities.
The Willmanns have five grandchildren; the Schmooks have six.
Congratulations to both couples on this milestone anniversary. They plan to celebrate at a joint event this summer.
Pizza bake-off meeting: Young Professionals of Parma invites those interested in working on the 2022 Pizza Bake-off committee to attend a launch meeting/happy hour at 6:30 p.m. June 24 at Rocky’s Pizza, 6168 Broadview Road, Parma — the restaurant of the month.
The committee will meet monthly.
YPP also invites people to join them and march in the Parma Independence Day parade. Marchers will pass out candy. The group also is looking for ideas for its float for the parade.
The 1½-mile parade route begins at Snow Road and ends at West Ridgewood Road by The Shoppes at Parma.
Visit the Young Professionals of Parma Facebook page for more information.
All aboard: The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which has a station in Independence, is back on track.
CVSR welcomes riders, but reminds them that they must follow safety precautions issued by the Transportation Security Administration and Federal Railroad Administration, including the wearing of face masks on the train unless passengers are eating or drinking.
Effective June 16, trains returned to full capacity and social distancing restrictions were lifted. CVSR also removed plastic shields that had separated passengers.
The railroad runs Wednesday through Sunday, with departures from the Akron Northside Depot, Rockside Depot in Independence and Peninsula Depot.
Advance tickets for June and July are available at cvsr.org.
Open again: A soft reopening of the Brooklyn Senior Center began June 14 for Brooklyn residents only, after the center was closed for more than a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Capacity remains limited to 25 percent. Call 216-635-4262 to reserve a spot.
Citywide garage sale: Independence will have its first citywide garage sale June 24-26. Nearly 160 families are participating. Garage sales will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 24-25 and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 26.
A list of the addresses, items, specific sale day(s) and maps can be downloaded from independenceohio.org. Printed copies of the garage sale map and directory also are available at the Civic Center, 6363 Selig Drive, Independence.
Musical interludes: Juke Box Heroes will perform from 7 to 9 p.m. June 24 at the bandstand at Independence Town Square on Brecksville Road.
Off the Griddle & Cleveland Cookie Dough food trucks will be onsite. In case of inclement weather, the concert might move to the Kiwanis Pavilion at Elmwood Park. Watch the city’s Facebook page for updates.
Those attending the concert are reminded to bring a lawn chair or blanket.
In nearby Parma, the next outdoor concert presented by Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter and Parma Heights Mayor Michael P. Byrne will be at 6:30 p.m. June 27 at Anthony Zielinski Park (Ridgewood Lake Park), Parma.
Brian Dorr will perform selections from the Great American Song Book. Attendees should bring a lawn chair or blanket.
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