Love List 2023: T.J. Meehan & Larry Ortt

by | Jan 1, 2023 | 0 comments

2023 Love List

Brent Mecikalski & Nick RossAppleton, 4 years
Rachel & Peg Zizmann, Madison, 8 years
D’Quionte (Que) Hughes & Quinton Marks, Milwaukee, 14 years
Dawn & Amanda Siebert – Evenstone, Madison, 16.5 years
T.J. Meehan & Larry Ortt, Boscobel, 47 years


We thought it was only a one night stand but we dated for 6 nights following and moved in together on the 7th day. It has now been 47 years. We had a Blessed Union performed in 1977 and were married in Canada in 2006. It was illegal for us to live together in our first home according to the village ordinance (we needed to be married or related by blood). We lived our first 35 years together in the Chicago area, and in 2007 we retired to Boscobel. It is T.J.’s hometown, and Larry says it’s like living in Mayberry.

Retirement didn’t last long as T.J. went to work for the local Free Clinic almost immediately. It is challenging to live as an out senior couple in a small farm town of 3000 people. You must be constantly aware of your surroundings, and you choose your local friends very carefully. We still enjoy spending time together and go antiquing together at least two times a week. We collect Depression-era elegant glass. Everyday at 4:30, we both stop whatever we are doing and come together to watch Jeopardy. This is a tradition we cherish.

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In 47 years, we have both lost parents and siblings. We also lost many jobs over the years but never been out of work before we retired. However, there was a two-week period in 1999 when we were completely broke. We got through it and started over again. There have been days we didn’t like each other very much but not many. We just ask ourselves, “Would I be better off with him or without him.” The answer is always the same. And life goes on. In 1991, T.J. created a men’s lunch group called Ladies Who Lunch [Think of Elaine Striche’s song in Company]. They met for more than 20 years, never missing a month.

For our 45th anniversary, we planned a big celebration. Since our anniversary is in February and the weather in Wisconsin can be nasty then, we decided to schedule the party for August. We thought this was a great idea. Wrong! Our little town was hit by a huge tornado the night before, and there was a great amount of damage. We considered canceling the party, but lots of friends had driven through the tornado to get to the party the next day.

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