Dubuque area widows celebrate Valentine's Day together - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque area widows celebrate Valentine's Day together

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ASBURY (KWWL) -

A Dubuque funeral home brought together more than 100 women on Valentine's Day, who all have one thing in common: they are widows.

On the day that celebrates romantic love, these women who have lost their husbands found a different kind of love - over lunch.

Thursday afternoon, a barbershop quartet serenaded a room at the Meadows Golf Club in Asbury filled with ladies who are without their sweethearts on Valentine's Day.

More than 100 women gathered for the free luncheon, sponsored by the Hoffman Schneider Funeral Home and Cremation Service. Lanza Lake is funeral director there.

"We just thought that it would be a nice thing for ladies to come who maybe didn't have their sweetheart with them anymore and spend the day together," Lake said at the event.

The afternoon included lunch, games and other entertainment.

"One of the ladies said to us when she called to RSVP, she said, 'Well, it'll be nice to have somewhere to go...it's just another lonely day for me now,'" Lake said. "We plan sad events, and so it's nice to be able to plan a happy event that people want to come to and can enjoy."

Arlene Breitbach lost her husband Tom to cancer close to two years ago. He was 87.

"It's lonely. It's really lonely," Breitbach said. "You're used to doing so much together, and we were married 63 years, and that was a long time."

Breitbach came with her best friend of nearly 70 years, Millie Hoerner.

"We're almost like sisters!" Breitbach exclaimed.

The two were even born within days of each other. They've been there for births and marriages of children, and when their husbands died just weeks apart, the women were supports for each other then, too.

"Nobody knows what it's like until it happens to themselves," Hoerner said.

When they caught wind of the widow's lunch, they decided to go.

"It's great to have a get-together like this. It's just great," Hoerner said.

The funeral home hopes to make this an annual Valentine's Day event.

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