Valentine’s 2019: Love Stories of Faculty & Staff

Gioia Cumicek, Adison Karbon, & Lauren Van Gheem, Staff Writers, Advanced Journalism

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Tritonian journalists reached out to faculty and staff for their “love stories.”  Enjoy this special accumulation of stories for this special week.  Some in-depth, more detailed love stories can be found under the heading of Features.

Carolyn and Mike Brown

Mrs. Brown met her husband, Mike, while playing ping pong with his college roommate when she was a sophomore at Texas Tech. During the game, Mike sent his roommate to go find another girl so they could play a game of doubles. The next day he ended up running into “Carolyn” while she was walking across campus to a class. Little did she know he had looked up her schedule to intentionally run into her. Mike had tickets to go see Simon and Garfunkel.

“I would have gone to see Simon and Garfunkel with anyone,” joked Brown. Simon and Garfunkel ended up being two hours late for the show due to miscommunication. “They ended up putting on a great show and the rest is history,” said Brown. They will be married 50 years on June 7th.

Holly and Justin Hinch

Mrs. Holly Hinch met her husband through online dating. “I was the first person he contacted,” said Hinch. “We hit it off right away!” They ended up meeting for their first date at The Bottle Room in August of 2014. After four years, they got married last June 23 in Bailey’s Harbor, Door County. The night before Academy Ball in 2017, they went out to dinner, a dinner that turned out to be their engagement meal. Three Notre Dame students were serving them. “They took our picture for us!” she said.

Jane and Matthew Schultz

Mr. Schultz met his wife, Jane, at a graduation party in college. He wasn’t originally going to attend because he didn’t like the person the party was for. They both attended Eau Claire for college. They now have three kids and will be married 15 years in August.

Kim and Will Flinchum

Mrs. Flinchum met her husband, Will, through a mutual friend. The friend had a Halloween party and they both attended. They were both a part of a group costume of the best 80s rock hair band. They have been married since August of 2016.

Julia and Greg Geiser

The first time Mr. Geiser saw his wife, Julia, she was standing on a table.  This was at his freshman orientation at college, and she was explaining the text rental system to him and a group of about 30 other people. “That girl is interesting,” thought Gesier. The next time they saw each other was on spring break. They both attended a mission trip to Kentucky where they spent a lot of time together. “We worked hard, we connected,” said Geiser. Once they returned to Green Bay they decided to go on a date. They got married in the summer of 1997. “We have similar values, we are equally able to challenge and support each other, and we have a great time together,” said the history teacher.  “That’s why we are sweethearts.”

Amy and Russell Stover

Señora Stover met her husband, Russell through mutual friends at work. They were set up by friends at a Christmas party. They ate and talked for almost an hour. Amy did not think it went well; then two weeks passed and they went to lunch. “Things took off from there,” she said. They will be married 20 years in April.

Caitlin and Ben Vanden Wyngaard

Mrs. Vanden Wyngaard met her husband, Ben, while working at a restaurant. “He was the dishwasher and I was a line cook and a waitress,” she said. They will be married for nine  years this October and have had two kids.

John and Char Dunlap

John and Char met in a support group at the Sacristy of Nativity Parish. Both of them had attended this group for a long time before they even knew each other’s names. They eventually got the courage to start talking to one another. “Later we started taking walks together, and I learned that John loved A&W Root Beer,” said Char. “One summer day I purchased some straight from the A&W stand and left it on his doorstep in a cooler that he would have to return to me.” She said it was a good move on her part because “the rest…as they say…is history.” They were married November 9, 1991. They have been married for 27 years.

Chris and Shannon Greisen

Mr. Greisen met his wife, Shannon, sometime in middle school. Being from Sturgeon Bay, many kids would go to the basketball field during summer. “I remember seeing this beautiful blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl but didn’t know her name until one of my teammates told it to me,” said Greisen. They began dating the summer before their sophomore year of high school. This summer they will be married for 20 years.

Harry and June Geiser

Harry Geiser met his wife, June, in a local bakery in Chilton in 1962. “June wandered into the workroom and discovered me covered in flour, mixing and baking a batch of 200 plus loaves of bread,” said Geiser. He convinced her to dump her blind date from earlier that evening, and they met at a local gathering place. “We hit it off and continued to date, eventually deciding that we were meant for each other,” said Geiser. They have now been married for 53 years.

Denise Rykal and Chris

In the summer Ms. Rykal works for Green Bay Sail and Paddle. “I was on the beach in June of 2017 for one of our sailing classes when I met my fiance Chris,” she said. They began dating in July, and he recently proposed on the same beach where they met. They plan to get married in August of this year.

Melanie Bradshaw and Matt Motiff

Mrs. Bradshaw met her husband, Matt, at the rehearsal for a wedding they both had roles in. She was singing and he was an usher. They were the first ones to the church. “I was living in Arkansas at the time and he was living in Minnesota, but we had both traveled back to Wisconsin to help with the wedding,” said Bradshaw. After that brief encounter at the church, they both went their separate ways as more people showed up and the rehearsal began. “After the rehearsal dinner, my plan was to head to bed and rest up so that I could sing well the next day. However, my cousin, who was also in the wedding, convinced me to come hang out with everyone for a little longer,” said Bradshaw. There, Matt and Mrs. Bradshaw started talking more over a game of shuffleboard and something started to click. After the wedding, she asked him to be her “plus one” at a different wedding she had coming up. Although their relationship was long distance, they ended up being together. They have a dog named Roma and have been married a year and a half.


Jessie and Taylor Adams

Jessie and Taylor met on a blind date that was arranged by mutual friends in May of 2014. They started dating in July and became engaged in October. They were married at Fox Hills Resort in September of 2016. They have had two children, a three-year-old daughter named Annabel and a one-year-old son named Lincoln, and another one on the way. They also have two cats named Crookshanks and Neytiri.

Kimberly Uelmen Story

Uelmen could not answer the question due to the fact she has not met her spouse yet. They have been married “a grand total of zero days, zero months, and zero years.” Some “highlights” from her recent dates include Craig, “the gem who wore socks and sandals on our first date of dinner and mini golfing,” Bryan, who made me pay for every…and I mean EVERY… date” and “also thought it would be fun to ‘surprise’ me by creepily showing up at one of my smaller polka gigs…that I did not tell him about,” and Mike, who canceled a date in order to take a nap. “The list goes on and on,” Uelmen said. This Valentine’s Day, she is looking forward to exercising, making herself breakfast for dinner, and watching Hallmark alone. “No, I am not mad about my plan,” Uelmen said. She does not have any pets, but wonders if her cactus counts. She needs to make sure it is still alive.

Shelly and Bill Cowans

Shelly Cowans met her husband Bill through her brother Greg, who played on the same softball team. They started dating in July of 1980 and were soon engaged in October and then married the following May. They now have two daughters, Becca and Amanda, who are both married themselves, and one dog. “We have four grandchildren and three furry grandchildren,” said Cowans.

Cassidy and Jamie McGowan

Mr. McGowan met his spouse, Jamie, who is a Notre Dame Academy graduate from 2002. They met at the end of his freshman year at Marquette University.  She was only a floor above him the entire time, but they never crossed paths until a couple weeks before summer break. “Luckily, I found the courage to ask her out on a date the day after I met her and we went to Rock Bottom in Milwaukee on our first date,” said McGowan. They have been married for almost thirteen years. They have three children and a dog named Indy.

Anne Eisley and Luke

Ms. Eisley met her (future) spouse on a blind double date with her sister and her husband. “Apparently, he saw me across the room a year before we actually met…I didn’t notice,” said Eisley. He proposed on New Year’s Day in Door County. They are getting married later this year where he proposed.

Danielle and Sam Bennett

Danielle Bennett met her husband Sam at a chili cook-off fundraiser at a park on a beautiful September day.  “I was dressed up in a costume for my booth–which had an MMA theme–so I looked like I had a big black eye and a bloody cut on my cheek,” she said.  “Within minutes we were joking around about what a terrible fighter I was (remember my face!) and finishing each other’s sentences.”

Bennett said it was “just like in the movies, like we’d known each other forever.”  After a month “we both knew we’d found ‘the one.’” Seven years later, on that exact same September day, they were married.

Patrick and Vicki Browne

Mr. Browne met his wife Vicki while he was a sophomore and she a junior at St. Norbert College. He was trying to date one of the girls in her dorm, but she wasn’t interested. One night Vicki’s dorm room was open, so he walked in and said hello. “She and I became friends even though she was dating someone else and I was a Norbertine vocation contact,” said Browne.

According to the principal, St. Norbert used to host a dance each year where guys would be asked to the dance, not by a girl, but by one of her friends. One of Vicki’s friends called him and asked if he wanted to be Vicki’s date, and from there the relationship grew.

“She ended up dropping her boyfriend at the time, and I decided not to pursue being a Norbertine priest,” stated Browne. After dating for two years, they sealed the deal in November of 1987 and now have been married for 31 years.

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