Few marriages last as long as this one, but Harold and Carol Busse have a long history of commitment — to one another and to the village of Mount Prospect. They met as sophomores at Arlington High School, at a party where a friend introduced them. They have been together ever since and will celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary Oct. 18.
The couple still live in their Mount Prospect home — Harold is 95 and Carol is 94 — in the same community where he was born and where together they raised a family and ran a business, Busse’s Flowers, Mount Prospect’s longest running business.
“Yes, we worked together all those years and we’re still married,” Carol says with a laugh. The business was started in 1916 by Harold’s grandfather, and Harold ran it with his father before buying it in 1964 and partnering with his wife.
Upon deeper reflection, Carol credits their strong faith, family roots and working together as equal partners in the business with contributing to their long marriage.
“What kept us together all these years was our love, we really cared about teach other,” Carol says. “We trusted each other and shared all the decisions that had to do with the business.”
From the start, Harold did the flower arranging and managed the greenhouse, while Carol ran the office and eventually did the buying of collectibles, which they had introduced. The couple built a new, expanded store in 1987, and in 2019 their daughter, Linda, and her husband, Paul Seils, moved the store to Rolling Meadows.
Harold and Carol are part of the Busse clan, Mount Prospect’s most prominent family, which is the namesake for Busse Road, Busse Woods and the former Busse School, to name just a few. They date their heritage back to 1848, when Friedrich and Johanna Katz Busse emigrated from Hanover, Germany, with their six children.
They last counted the couple’s descendants in 1998, when Harold and Carol worked with extended family members to hold a reunion, marking the 150th anniversary of the family coming to this country. The number of attendees was so large, they had to hold it at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Grayslake.
“We contacted 5,500 family members and 2,500 came,” Carol says. “For a time, we were in the Guinness Book of World Records.”
Their anniversary party was much smaller, with 100 or so family and friends gathering in the clubhouse at Rob Roy Golf Course in Prospect Heights. But many of the same sentiments from the reunion were shared at the party, about the couple’s deep roots in the community and their unconditional love for each other. Congratulations!