BY JENNY GOLDSBERRY
Bruce F. Schofield turns 95 this month. His wife, Mary Williams Schofield, just turned 94 in December. This year, they will have been married for 77 years, and they spent almost every one of those years in the same home in Syracuse. Even before they were married, they lived very near each other in Syracuse. They both came from a lifestyle of living and working on a farm.
During the second World War, Bruce served in the Air Force. Afterward, he continued to work for the Air Force as a civilian. He, along with over 20,000 people, got a job at Hill Air Force base, which he kept for almost 40 years. The base was created in 1940 because it was thought to be a secure area on account of the Rocky Mountains. At the time, Utah had 13 other military bases, but Hill Air Force base employed a majority of them, according to the Utah History Encyclopedia. It soon became Utah’s biggest employer, not only employing Utahns like Bruce, but also active-duty military men and prisoners of war.
Mary found work at Farr Better Ice Cream as an ice cream scooper. She was lucky to be employed at that time because Farr Better Ice Cream actually started in ice sales. The work involved collecting ice from the surface of ponds across Weber County, which was much less sanitary than scooping ice cream. While today there are five locations, Mary worked at the first original location on Washington Boulevard. They charged a nickel for a scoop of ice cream. It might seem like light work, but anyone who’s scooped giant tubs of ice cream can attest that it takes more arm strength than it looks.
At one point in their marriage, they ran an auto mechanic shop, and after 25 years of marriage, they started a snowmobile shop together. The farming lifestyle, which could be traced back generations in both their families, ended with them. According to his children, Bruce could fix anything because he was an expert in all things mechanical. Mary was a great manager because she had previously managed the kitchen of Garden Home Training Center. Together, they were the perfect team, because they complemented each other. All of these workplaces, from Hill Air Force base to Farr Better Ice Cream to Schofield Snowmobile Sales, were local companies, which helped the Schofields stay rooted in their hometown.
Today, they are the oldest living couple native to Syracuse. They had seven children who gave them many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
If you want to know more about their life stories, you can find past articles we’ve published on them by visiting http://www.syracuseconnection.com. Do you think you know a couple from Syracuse that’s been married longer? We want to hear from you. Call us at (801) 624-9652