Anna Mae and Donald Frank Clausen recently celebrated 75 years of wedded bliss. The happy couple are the grandparents to Maumelle City Clerk Joshua Clausen and lived most of the life in South Dakota but recently moved here to Maumelle and Arkansas to be close to their family.
Anna Mae was born on Aug. 14, 1924 and Don on June 21, 1922.
Growing up together, Don was Anna Mae’s brother’s best friend since they both played sports together.
High school sweethearts, they both were born on farms in South Dakota. It was hard times growing up on a farm in rural South Dakota during the Great Depression.
After they married, Don farmed for 20 years and then lucked into a job with the United States Postal Service as a community rural mail carrier. It was hard work also since the mail route was approximately 125 miles long daily. In the winter if the roads were bad Don used a snowmobile to deliver so everyone would still get their mail.
The mail must get through. At least for his customers.
After delivering tons of Sears and Roebuck catalogs and seed and cattle catalogs and magazines, Don went home after his mail had been delivered to continue his farming of his own land but just quite not as much land as as he’d farmed before.
The couple loved to square dance, ride snow mobiles together, go camping, even hunt together, fishing, playing golf, bowling, water skiing and even playing cards together.
Don also played chess with other farmers and would yell “got his queen, mom” when he captured it — even if she was in another room. He was an exceptional pool player and poker player.
Just to give you an example of the pioneer fortitude and resolve this couple was born with, after Don’s right hand was partially crippled, he taught himself to bowl with his other hand — left handed.
Don was a founder and active in the local Lions club for 50 years.
Anna Mae made many, many trips to town to sell milk, cream and eggs to what she called “the city slickers.”
When World War II came along Don was drafted into the army. He served all over Europe in a construction unit that rebuilt roads we’d spent so much time destroying with bombs.
Then in retreat the Germans blew up roads and bridges to slow down the Allied advance but Don’s unity just built them back again.
Like many Americans after a war Don’s occupations after the war were the same as before — he was a farmer and a country mail man.
The couple has three sons, 10 grand kids and 20 great grand kids.
Since they’d lived in Spink County, South Dakota for 88 and 90 years respectively — all within 20 miles of where they were born, moving to Maumelle was a big move but the pair say they should have done it sooner and are enjoying the time spent with their expanded family.