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Clark County’s Valentine Sweethearts

By Mike Scott

Meet Rose and Ralph Buschling.

This special couple has been married for 73 years, and they are our 2021 Clark County Valentine Sweetheart’s Couple.

“I’m from Wayland, and I’m still there,” said Ralph Buschling, with a big smile on his face.

Rose Toops Buschling hails from “rural Kahoka”.  She started school in St. Francisville, then attended Oak Ridge.  She went Kahoka School for one year, and graduated from Wayland High School.

“I guess I haven’t gotten too far,” Rose laughed.-.

The couple met at a recreational gathering at the Wayland Methodist Church.

“We played ping-pong,” said Ralph.

Who won?

“That’s too long ago to remember,” he answered.

“I’m sure it wasn’t me,” answered Rose.

The couple’s first date was to see the Harlem Globetrotters at Culver-Stockton College.

“That was really something back then,” Ralph said.

“Most of our dating was me sitting on the bleachers watching him play ball,” Rose said.  Ralph played league softball in Keokuk.

The pair dated for a year or so, and were married September 26, 1947, at the same Methodist Church where they met.  They still attend there today.  Ralph’s Best Man was his brother, George, and Willa Egley served as Rose’s Maid of Honor.

The couple lived in a three-room apartment in Keokuk, that rented for $20 per month.

“It was cozy and nice.  It suited us,” said Rose.

Ralph worked as the head of the ice cream department at Swiss and Company.  They made ice cream for soda fountains, and eventually sold it in stores.

“He probably ate a lot of it, too,” said Rose.

Ralph later worked at Electric Metal, then went into farming and built more than 100 houses with his brother, George.  He “retired” following a heart attack in 1987.

In the early 1950’s, Rose worked at Dryden’s rubber plant, and made gas masks for the Korean War.

“It was quite a job.  It was picky, picky, picky.”

The Buschlings had four children:  David, Steven, who passed away at seven days, Debra and Randy.  The have six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Rose and Ralph have traveled extensively, visiting every state except Hawaii.  They also have fond memories of a trip to England, Ireland and Wales, which they toured by bus.

“In Wales, we stayed at a place called the Royal Goat.  Every room was different, so we all had to see each other’s rooms,” said Rose.

“In England, we toured everything,” said Rose.  “We even saw a Broadway show.”

They have also taken trips to Canada and Mexico.

What’s their secret to such a long and happy marriage?

“We don’t have secrets,” Rose answered.

“We don’t fight, and we don’t argue,” Ralph added.

“You have to talk things over, and stick together, and try to understand each other,” said Rose.

“If everyone got along as well as we do, there wouldn’t be any divorces,” Ralph said.

What advice do they give to young couples?

“Be satisfied with what you have.  I loved our little apartment,” said Rose.

“People don’t live within their means, and then they get into trouble,” continued Ralph.  “We didn’t have a lot, but we bought our little farm and built a new house.  And when Larry said he wanted to go to college, we laid in bed all night talking about how we could do it.  And he graduated without any debt.  We made sacrifices, but they were worth it.”

A last bit of advice…

“Times have changed, and we have to change with them,” added Ralph.