A love connection when least expected

Donna (Fischer) Overholt ’57 and Larry Clausing ’59

There may be debate as to when it started, but there’s no denying the spark in the eyes of soon-to-be newlyweds and long-time ‘Berg supporters Donna (Fischer) Overholt ’57 and Larry Clausing ’59.

After the deaths of their spouses – Bob Overholt ’59 in February 2016 and Judy (Drake) Clausing ’60 in January 2015 – Donna and Larry found themselves both living at the villas at St. Francis in Tiffin. According to Donna, Larry had been extremely helpful in assisting in Bob’s care after his health had begun failing. He pitched in to help build some cabinets for his classmate when the Overholts moved into their villa.

“We go way back,” Larry says, noting that their children – five between the two couples – attended the same school and played in Donna’s church bell choir. More recently, they learned they had yet one other thing in common: their passion for walking.

“I’m a very avid walker, and she loves to walk, too,” says Larry. “One day I just asked her if she wanted to go along and she said yes. We just started walking together and before we knew it, we had gone through every park in Seneca County.”

The couple discovered they enjoyed spending time together. “We didn’t see it coming, but some of our kids did,” says Donna of their connection. “Whatever time God gives us, we’re going to enjoy it together.”

After a combined 113 years of marriage – Donna and Bob at 58 and Larry and Judy at 55 – they see many reasons to keep a good thing going. This summer at Lakeside, Larry made it official when he proposed to Donna, but not before some good-hearted quizzing by her friends “to make sure he was good enough for her.”

“I was at Lakeside with friends. We had talked marriage, but I don’t know as he ever asked,” Donna recalls. “I had a long talk with a pastor friend and he said, ‘Go for it.’ We just decided, why wait?”

On a bench facing Lake Erie, the two got engaged. “She looked at me with the biggest grin and said yes,” Larry says. “All of our kids are in favor of it, and that’s really important to us,” Donna adds.

The two will be married on Sept. 30 at Trinity United Church of Christ. But before they set the date, they had to be sure it didn’t conflict with any Heidelberg football games or music events!

So, has their courtship revealed any surprises? “She didn’t tell me she had a license in mountain climbing,” Larry jokes. And through hearty laughter, Donna tells the story about Larry’s desire to purchase five new sweaters, one in each color of a design he liked. “I just lost it,” she says.

Today, their biggest challenge is figuring out how to fit all of their belongings into a single villa. But these two just click together. We wish them all the Heidelberg happiness their hearts can hold.

Published in Alumni

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