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Happs Celebrate 60 Years of Marriage with Vow Renewal at ALMH Chapel


When Lester Happ was admitted to Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital it was clear to him and his wife, Carol, that he would likely be spending their 60th wedding anniversary at the hospital. Carol and Lester asked ALMH staff for help with a vow renewal to honor their special day.

“We’ve always been good at improvising,” said Carol.

Several ALMH employees worked together with ALMH Chaplain Robert Henderson to make the arrangements for the ceremony providing everything from a wedding cake to flowers for the couple. The brief ceremony took place on their anniversary, June 13th at 10:30am in the ALMH Chapel. Chaplain Henderson presided over the ceremony reminding the couple of the importance of communication and celebrating their love for one another each day.

Their daughter, Lisa Wrage of Emden, was present for the renewal. They also have a daughter, Mary, who lives in Portugal and a son, Dirk, who lives in DeKalb. The Happs have 6 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren with another on the way.

On June 13, 1953 Lester and Carol Happ were married in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lester is retired from a toxicology lab and Carol retired after 25 years of teaching seventh grade biology in Northbrook, Illinois. They moved to Hartsburg, Illinois in 2003. Their interests are varied. After 60 years of marriage they easily reflect upon all their great experiences of traveling across the United States and internationally. They have participated in many Road Scholar education travel adventures and are also members of the Central Illinois Banjo Club. Lester plays the banjo and Carol plays the ukulele. As a family, the Happs also did a lot of camping.

“You know, they say that those who camp together stay together,” said Carol.

The Happ family is planning a party for this weekend in Hartsburg to celebrate the special anniversary.

“I am hopeful that I’ll be home in time for the party,” said Lester. “I look forward to seeing our family and friends.”

ALMH is a 25-bed critical access hospital located at 200 Stahlhut Drive in Lincoln, Illinois and is an affiliate of Memorial Health System. ALMH employs more than 315 in a variety of roles. For more information about ALMH, visit