Maeystown’s oldest resident Harry Steingrubey, 95, and his wife Maxine celebrated 75 years of marriage May 14. The couple met June 15, 1944, under what Harry has described as fateful circumstances in a recent edition of the Maeystown Volksblatt.
While stationed in Fort Bragg, N.C., as a Army infantry sergeant, Harry and some fellow members of the 100th Division were given were given passes for “R&R” in nearby Fayetteville while the rest were sent to march in a commemorative parade in New York to celebrate Infantry Day. It was the only time Harry had even been given such a pass, and on the bus ride to The Town Pump, Fayetteville’s notorious serviceman’s beer hall, a woman boarded the bus full of soldiers.
“She bravely got on and began working her way through the crowd of gawking guys. As she passed in front of me I jabbed my friend Ken Soderblom, causing him to instinctively jump up,” Harry remembered. “She, thinking he was offering his seat, said ‘Thank you’ and sat down beside me. Completely captivated by her charm and conversation the twenty minutes remaining on the bus ride to town flew by – she bid me adieu and departed – leaving me spellbound.”
Harry, “led by an unknown force, found her before she disappeared and ask if he might know her name. Her reply was ‘Not at all. It’s Maxine Murray and my telephone number is 2-2226!’” Maxine was also stationed at Fort Bragg as a civilian member of the Army Signal Corps.
Shortly after meeting, Harry was deployed overseas, separating them for “20 months, during which 363 letters would cross the Atlantic and united them in marriage at its conclusion.”
75 years later, the couple is still happily married and living in Maeystown.