They're best friends for lifeRoman and Maryann Malarchick prepared sloppy joes for the members of the Sunset Center on Monday evening. As volunteers, it’s one of the many activities they do together.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
Roman and Maryann Malarchick prepared sloppy joes for the members of the Sunset Center on Monday evening. As volunteers, it’s one of the many activities they do together.
The couple has been inseparable since their marriage 60 years ago.
“We’re best friends — we’ve been best friends all our lives,” Maryann said.
“Pretty much, we do everything together and I’d do it all over again,” Roman added.
The couple will celebrate their 60th anniversary with an open house 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 22, at the Sunset Center.
The couple also plans to renew their vows at a ceremony April 21 at St. Patrick’s Church with their family in attendance. Their family includes Bonnie (deceased), Connie Armstrong and Bev Herman, eight grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
The couple met in 1948 when Maryann Buzalsky’s brother brought Roman to their farm near Amidon.
A school pie social was underway, and Roman thought he was buying the pie that Maryann baked so that he could sit with her. Turned out, the pie was baked by her mother. It didn’t matter, they still had a good time.
Coming to North Dakota from Wisconsin, Roman was working with a section crew for the Northern Pacific Railroad. He lived in Medora and also worked for ranchers in the area.
“We saw each other, but not very often because he didn’t own a car,” Maryann said.
Roman traveled to Amidon by bus, and the couple kept in contact until he joined the U.S. Navy for a year.
Roman decided to ask Maryann to marry him, but he wrote a letter to her mother, asking for permission.
“Maryann didn’t take that too well,” Roman said.
“He had my mom twisted around his little finger,” Maryann joked.
Roman proposed by mail, but Maryann waited to respond until he was released from military service.
“We knew each other for four years before we got married,” Maryann said.
The ceremony was held April 17, 1952, in Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Amidon. It was a small gathering with aunts and uncles in attendance.
The couple rented a small house in Dickinson, and Roman worked as a painter for 17 years for Anderson Painting. When the owner died, he took over the business, calling it Malarchick Painting.
His wife stayed at home until the youngest daughter enrolled in first grade. She worked for Montgomery Ward for 17 years when she went to work for Roman for another 27 years.
“We worked together side-by-side,” Maryann said. “We built our house together.”
Working together, the couple can’t recall ever having a fight, maybe disagreements.
“I think everybody wants to have everything right away — we were happy with what we had,” Maryann said.
The couple joined St. Patrick’s Church 60 years ago, and sent their children to the Catholic schools.
“I think more people should come back to church — it would be a lot different,” Roman said. “We have so many beautiful churches, they can pick one out.”
While Roman doesn’t have his business anymore, he doesn’t consider himself as retired. He serves as the Sunset Center vice president and Maryann is treasurer. They keep busy in their yard and with family activities.
Reflecting on their life, Maryann said, “Where did the time go? We had 24, 40 and 50th anniversaries and such good times with all of them.”
“I really think the main thing in life is to stay active,” Roman said.