Harvey and Irma: married 75 years before the hurricanes

The damage left by merciless hurricanes Harvey and Irma will be long remembered, but in Spokane, Washington resides a Harvey and Irma as everlasting and kind as the hurricanes were disastrous.

Set the stage to Spokane, the early 1940’s. Harvey Schluter was visiting his brother’s duplex when he ran into a young woman living with her sister in the apartment below: Irma Schumacher. Fast forward to 1942, Schluter and Schumacher sealed their love and were wed in matrimony. 75 years later, with Mr. Schluter at the ripe age of 104 and Mrs. Schluter turning 93 in November, their relationship is still in blossom.

Even though they have witnessed pivotal turning points in recent history and survived the Great Depression, the Schluters have fortunately never found themselves amidst any disastrous weather. When their children first told the Schluters the names of the hurricanes, the elderly couple felt certain it was a joke; the probability of such a situation happening in their lifetime, or at all, seemed very low.

Contrary to the raging hurricanes bearing their names, the Schluters have showcased their generosity and warmth, having fostered 120 children over their decades-long relationship, a majority of which had physical or mental disabilities. Most of their now- adult fostered kids, gathered in Washington to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the couple who still merit a position in their heart as ‘mom’ and ‘dad’.

The Schluters consider selfless acts their calling, with many individuals close to them testifying to their passion for helping others. Their passion for serving the community isn’t limited to fostering children. Devastated by the impact of Harvey and Irma, the Schluters have expressed their desire to help the communities affected. For as long as folks like the Schluters exist, there is hope that for every disaster there are rays of good in the world.

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