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A love story fitting for Valentine’s Day

True love lasts forever. Bob Peterson met his sweetheart and wife, Ardene Bonucchi, at his first birthday party.

Bob’s parents, Alvin (Swede) and Bertha Peterson, invited Ardene and her parents, Albert and Evelyn Bonucchi, to Bob’s birthday celebration in their Granville home. This was the day their friendship bloomed.

Bob was born on May 31, 1943, and Ardene was born on Feb. 12 of the same year.

Both Bob and Ardene grew up in Granville, attending Granville Grade School and Hopkins High School together. They graduated in 1961.

Ardene’s father owned the Royal Blue Grocery store in Granville where they both worked from their 8th-grade year through high school.

After high school, they pursued careers and eventually went their separate ways. Ardene moved to Chicago to airline school and later was employed by American Airlines. Bob continued his education at LPO and Northern Illinois University and then ventured to the Toledo National School of Meat Cutting.

Ardene remained in the Chicago area and married, while Bob returned to the Granville area, also married, and then moved to Rockford to work for Jewel Foods.

Years later, Ardene moved back to Granville and worked for LaSalle County Travel, which she purchased in 1986.

That same year, Bob and Ardene reconnected at their 25th class reunion. Their friendship reignited, and Bob began asking Ardene to schedule his twice-a-year golf trips for this friends and him.

In 2003, their class had a 60th-year old-birthday party. It was here that they discovered that they were both single again. Bob invited Ardene to lunch, and from that day forward, they were a couple. They married on April 3, 2004, which was Ardene’s father’s birthday, and look forward to their 14th anniversary this April.

Together, they are the proud parents of three children and are blessed with five grandchildren, one great grandchild, with two more due this year.

Theirs is a true love story fitting for Valentine’s Day.

Note to readers: Darrell Alleman can be reached at news@putnamcountyrecord.com.

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