Growing Older: Reader Essay by Barbara La Valleur and Arnie Bigbee

From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Winter 2017

W2017_GrowingOlderBarbaraLaValleurArnieBigbee_Inline300 The poster in our Edina condo kitchen reads:

“A night to remember A night not to miss. Friday, June 29, 2001 UMAA 2001 Annual Celebration and Sesquicentennial Grand Finale”

It was, indeed, a night to remember and changed the lives of Arnie Bigbee and me.

That night we literally bumped into each other back to back at the wine bar in the McNamara Center. Arnie was holding a glass of merlot. I had a chardonnay.

“Excuse me,” we each said as we turned around to face each other and exchange pleasantries.

“Would you like to join me at the Rochester table for dinner?” he soon asked.

”Sure,” I said without hesitating.

Some time later, I thought: “Am I willing to have my heart broken—again—for the privilege of loving and being loved?”

Later on he was thinking: “This is truly an impressive woman!”

Arnie and I started dating the following year. On June 29, 2005, we returned to the McNamara Center where Arnie, on bended knee, proposed. We married November 26, 2005. Our reception was at the McNamara Center.

Our lives are filled with the joy of daughters, grandchildren, granddogs, and sisters. We volunteer, travel, read, walk, and stand for social justice. We especially enjoy time at our family retreat, La Farm, near Ashby, Minnesota.

- Barbara La Valleur and Arnie Bigbee (B.A. ’65) Edina

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