After 77 years, a marriage ends on the Iron Range

The “most enduring” marriage in Minnesota has ended after 77 years.

The Duluth News Tribune says Dan “Pinky” Skorich, of Marble, died earlier this month. He was 98.

Their marriage was declared the state’s “most enduring” in 2012.

A News Tribune story published on Valentine’s Day that year told of their long-lasting love. In his later years, Pinky wrote poems, and Maree would mouth the words as he recited them. She sang him the same song she would sing when they were dating: “Goodnight, My Love.” They worked crossword puzzles together — in ink, without a dictionary.

She tucked him into bed every night. “He never goes to bed without saying he loves me after all these years,” Maree said in 2012.

Failing health kept them farther apart in recent months, Dan Skorich said, although they continued to share their home of the past 75 years. Pinky was bedridden for the past six months. Maree, who will be 99 on July 31, lost her eyesight and much of her hearing and also is bedridden. They were in separate rooms for the past several months.

His son says at the moment of his father’s death, the room was filled with the aroma of roses.

“My dad never smelled like a rose in his life,” Dan Skorich said.

The smell of roses is significant in the Eastern Orthodox faith, the paper says. His son says he learned from the priest who officiated at his father’s funeral that the aroma is considered symbolic of God’s presence.