This February 14, Sue and Ken Vogt will have spent 62 Valentines Days as husband and wife, and their love is still going strong
By Robin Hart
After being married for more than 61 years, Sue and Ken Vogt still seem like giggling teenagers when talking about their lives, their family and especially each other.
Sue says to have a happy marriage, “I have five words — live, love, laugh, trust and pray.”
The Vogts were married Aug. 31, 1957, at Our Mother of Sorrow Catholic Church in Louisville. They moved to Danville in 1970.
Sue is originally from Henderson and met Ken in Louisville, where he’s from, after he got out of the Navy. Sue was attending nursing school at the time and met Ken through her roommate, whom he had taken out a couple of times.
Sue said her roommate went home for a couple of weeks and she and Ken went out, “and we’ve been together ever since.”
It wasn’t awkward at all when her roommate returned, Sue says. “In those days we (all the guys and girls) dated this one and that one. It’s not like today.”
The couple moved to Danville when Ken opened up a franchise of the Ann Herbert Fashion Shop in the Danville Manor Shopping Center, while Sue continued her nursing career at Kentucky State Hospital. Eventually, Ken owned a BP station in Harrodsburg named Ken’s Korner Mart. He ran that business for 10 years before retiring. Sue went to medical school and became a nurse practitioner for the Boyle County Health Department for 21 years.
Sitting in their Danville home of 48 years, one can feel the love surrounding the couple. They look at each other and smile with twinkles in their eyes. And they aren’t afraid to show affection with a hug now and then, and a peck on the cheek.
A large family photo of the couple with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchild hangs prominently in the living room. And other special photos around the room are sitting on table tops and shelves that Ken has made over the years.
“He’s our St. Joseph,” Sue said laughing. “He’s a carpenter.”
Then she points to a tall floor clock. “Ken made that.” And behind a comfortable chair in the living room, Sue points to what she calls her “mother table,” where more photos of her and Ken are proudly displayed. Ken made that table, too.
Sue said they have nicknames for each other. “He’s my man, my ‘Sweetheart,’ my everything,” Sue gushes.
Ken calls her “Kitten” and sometimes “Angel,” she says. “I’m his angel because I know how to harp!” Then they both laugh out loud.
When talking about how they made a happy marriage over the decades of raising children, owning two business, having a profession and going back to school, Sue says it was because of “togetherness.” She adds, “We’ve done lots together,” as a family.
When their three children were young, all five of them played softball on the church league. Ken not only played, he also coached the girls team.
And they all bowled too.
Ken seems to enjoy listening to Sue as she recalls their life together. But when asked what may have been difficult times, he takes a moment to answer and says in his deep voice, “I can’t think of anything.”
Then when asked what were the best years of their marriage, he smiled widely and quickly answers, “All of them!”
Sue adds that they’ve enjoyed all their children and five grandchildren, all the church and school functions, graduations, weddings, grandchildren and their great-grandchild.
“And now, we’re growing old together. But that doesn’t matter,” Sue says.
Now they have more time to travel. They’ve been to 50 states, Canada several times and Italy five times — the fifth to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.
Last year on their 60th anniversary, the couple toured the East Coast.
Ken’s weathered face and large strong hands seem to soften whenever Sue brushes past him.
He says they have been good partners through the years. “And we’re both easy going and help one another.”
Sue says, “And he’s a gentleman, gentle, thoughtful, loving…”
Ken interupts her, “Now don’t get carried away.”
“And ornery,” Sue adds, laughing.