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Crossed Wires Sparked Romance 65 Years Ago

Story written by Jill Reinheimer

Oct 02, 2019

One day, by chance, in 1953, Bill Yundt found himself at the office of Merritt Lumber. The Western Electric employee was there to install a switchboard when he struck up a conversation with the effervescent Rita Schatz.

Rita, who was the switchboard operator, and Bill effortlessly chatted about similar interests—their love of travel and church—as well as movies, including “The Desert Song.” Rita was eagerly waiting to see the romance musical in theaters but had to wait until payday. Bill jumped at the opportunity and asked if she’d like to see it with him.

“I tell people I got my wires crossed that day,” Bill chuckled. Rita, with a sheepish smile, responded, “He still has his sense of humor.”

After a year of dating, the couple married on Sept. 18, 1954, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Mohnton by Rev. Julius Sathmary. They have two children Keith Yundt and Pamela Jean Snyder, and one granddaughter, Heather Yundt.

When asked what’s their secret to having a lasting marriage, they each shared words of wisdom: trust and lots of patience.

“You have to give and take; sometimes you take more than you give, but you work through it together,” said Rita.

Over the years, the Yundts have enjoyed raising their family and traveling. “I just don’t know where 65 years went,” said Rita reflecting back on it all.

The couple is happily residing at Manor at Market Square, a senior living community in downtown Reading. They participate in various activities, and Rita is also a member of the chorus. To help celebrate the momentous occasion, management and staff surprised the couple with a small party on Sept. 18.

“We were very surprised. They pulled it off on us,” said Rita.

The Yundts are now looking forward to their next celebration—Bill is turning 100 in December!

Manor at Market Square is a unique retirement community offering Independent Living, Personal Care, and Respite Care on an affordable month-to-month lease with no buy-in fees. Resident services include nursing care, meals, housekeeping, social events, and transportation. For more information, please call 610-373-0800, or visit

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