LIMA — Irene Westerbeck, having resided at 746 W. Market St. in Lima, graduated from New Bremen High School in 1936 and the Lima Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1940. When she became a bride in 1946, Westerbeck was 28 and worked as a registered nurse in Dr. H.C. Weisenbarger’s office.
Forest Nuesmeyer, the 24-year-old groom, had served three years with the Marine Corps in the South Pacific, and at the time of the wedding, Nuesmeyer worked at Fisher’s Livestock yards in Wapakoneta.
At 1:30 p.m. Sept. 14, 1946, at St. Peter Evangelical and Reformed church in New Bremen, the Rev. T.G. Patsdorf read the double ring ceremony — meaning the bride and groom both exchanged rings. During World War II, the practice of double-ring ceremonies became more popular; military men fighting overseas wore wedding bands as a reminder of their wives waiting for them to return home. In earlier U.S. traditions, only the bride received a ring.
The bride was given in marriage by her brother, Arnold Westerbeck, and she wore a gown of white net and taffeta. The dress was designed with a sweetheart neckline, long sleeves and a full skirt that ended in a train.
Irene Westerbeck carried a white Bible topped with white roses and wore a ruby and sapphire necklace which previously had been worn by Nuesmeyer’s grandmother on her wedding day.
After the ceremony, the bride’s mother, Rebecca Westerbeck, served a dinner for 50 guests at her home in New Bremen. Later that evening, 300 guests attended a reception, which also took place at the Westerbeck home.
The couple was married for 55 years and had four children: three sons, Steve (Tammy), of Wapakoneta; Bill (Anna Kay), and Tom Nuesmeyer, of St. Marys; and a daughter, Betty (Dr. George) Bergman, of Minster.
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