Couple shares the secret to 71 years of wedded bliss

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

Mark and Milly Fiedler, of Mancelona, will celebrate their 71st wedding anniversary this year. 



MANCELONA – After his discharge from the U.S. Coast Guard in 1946, where he served four years as part of the war effort, Mark Fiedler headed to the family farm near Charlevoix, and attended a church camp where he met the love of his life.

"She was playing the piano, and her sister was singing," Mark recalled with a smile. "She played so well."

And she still does.

Almost 71 years later, Fiedler and the young lady he made his bride a year or so later still provide the music every Sunday at Kalkaska's Church of the Nazarene. His wife, the former Milly Johnson, plays the piano and the World War II veteran accompanies her on the clarinet.

"That's the secret to a successful marriage," Milly Fiedler said. "You have to learn to work together."

Through thick and thin, and all the years in between, that is exactly what the couple – who made Mancelona their permanent home in 1986 – has done.

"We moved up here after Mark retired from Oldsmobile in Lansing, where we raised our three children," said Milly.

"We bought the home on East Limits in Mancelona that Milly grew up in, and have been here ever since," Mark added.

The couple, both of whom are in remarkably good health, lead a quiet life, enjoying lunch when possible at the Mancelona Senior Center, and participating in church and family activities.

A faith in God, and commitment to their church, as well as their marriage vows and their family, has bound the couple together, according to Milly. 

The Fielders have three children – Dan, Rick, and LuAnn – who all still live in Michigan and between them have given their parents eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

"We are all very close," Milly said of her family.

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