John and Terry Holmgren: in pictures

Karrigan True

More stories from Karrigan True

Prom Coronation
May 4, 2021

photo by Karrigan True

John and Terry Holmgren of Blue Mound, Illinois have been married for 52 years. Between getting engaged a month after they met and moving to Illinois from Minnesota, they have an interesting love story.

A part of the Blue Mound community for 52 years, is the happy married couple John and Terry Holmgren. They are also members of the Blue Mound Methodist Church. John is a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Blue Mound American Legion. Terry was formerly a cook for the Blue Mound school district. They moved to Blue Mound because John worked for a tractor cab company on Route 48.

John was born and raised in Mankato, Minnesota. After serving in the Air Force, he moved to central Illinois. Terry grew up and worked in Decatur, Illinois, as a hairstylist. 1968 was a busy year for them. They were set up on a blind date on May 1, got engaged on June 1, and got married on July 3.

Q: How did you meet?

A (Terry): I was working in a beauty shop and one of my customers asked me if I would want to go out with him. I said nope I’m dating someone else. Well, that week we broke up, and the next week when I did her hair I said “does that John guy still want to go on a date?” She said yes. And that was it.

A (John): My boss’s girlfriend had her hair done. Apparently, Terry was looking for a date so she gave me her phone number. I called her up one evening. I was supposed to pick her up at seven o’clock. Got there about nine o’clock when I finally figured out where the Jasper street firehouse was. She almost didn’t go with me but her mom told her she had to. I saw her every night after that.

Q: Why did you decide to get married so soon?

A (Terry): We knew we were right for each other and didn’t want to wait. We didn’t have the money for a big wedding so it didn’t matter.

A (John): Why not? That’s my best answer. Why not.

Q: At what moment did you know you were in love?

A (Terry): The second date. We saw each other every night from May 1 until Memorial Day. He went home to Minnesota for the weekend. Then he came back with an engagement ring.

A (John): I can’t honestly answer that. Probably when I went to Minnesota for Memorial Day weekend and realized I missed her.

Q: What is your favorite thing about each other?

A (Terry): His kindness.

A (John): So many things. Sometimes her attitude. I love to tease her and she hates being teased. She makes do with a little bit of nothing and she comes out with something super.

Q: What is your favorite memory together?

A (Terry): There’s been a lot of favorite memories. Like the birth of our children and grandkids.

A (John): Our trip to Niagra Falls. Watching her at that point with her fear of water, going underneath the falls and everything. She was a brave trooper and she did everything we wanted to do.

Q: How did your life change after getting married?

A (Terry): Well we had to do everything for ourselves and I wasn’t used to that because my mom always took care of me. It was hard for me to leave my mom. I only lived in Decatur but at the time it felt like I was moving across the country.

A (John): I guess a major change was I decided I was going to be in Illinois for the rest of my life.

Q: What word do you associate most with each other?

A (Terry): I would say kind.

A (John): Her ability to do crafts and start off with nothing and do a fantastic job with it. I mean that as a compliment to her.