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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Aurelia couple starting a new trend ?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jim and Corinne Bengtson, on the porch of their "new" home in Aurelia. Photo by Dan Whitney
Bengtsons leave Florida, retire in Iowa

Jim Bengtson and Corinne Rath were classmates at Aurelia High School, graduating with the Class of 1968. Following graduation, Jim worked for Delta Airlines in Chicago, then served in the Army from 1970-1972. After the service, he returned to his job in Chicago, but moved to Florida in 1978.

Corinne, meanwhile, attended UNI for a short time before deciding on a nursing career. She completed nurses' training at Iowa Methodist School of Nursing in Des Moines and entered the nursing profession.

A few years after his move to Florida, Jim was back in Aurelia visiting his family and friends, when one of Corinne's sisters suggested he give his former classmate a call, as both of them were now single. Well, Jim did just that, and before they knew it, Jim and Corinne, who were never a "couple" in their days at Aurelia High School, began dating, and after a few months, they were married in Florida on February 6, 1982, and later had a reception in Iowa.

After living for a year in Orlando, Jim and Corinne moved to nearby Kissimmee. Corinne worked as an R.N. in a Managed Care Department, doing Utilization Review and Jim worked in sales in the construction business.

The couple have two grown children. Their daughter, Amanda, is now 29 years old and lives in Alpharetta, Georgia with her husband and their two children - Sophie, 4 1/2, and Jackson, 2 1/2. Amanda graduated from Florida State University, and is she is currently employed in the finance department of an insurance company.

The couple's son, Adam, is now 27 years old (and 6'6" tall, by the way). He graduated from the University of Central Florida and now lives in College Park, Maryland, working in internet development.

About seven or eight years ago, the Bengtsons started thinking about the possibility of moving back to Aurelia when they retired. They put in a bid on a good-sized 1908 house in town, but didn't really figure that their offer would be accepted, and they admit to being surprised when owner Janice Alfred did just that.

Well, this led to a shift in the Bengtsons' plans. Whereas they previously had only considered moving back to Aurelia, that thought now became much more of a reality, and for several years, Jim and Corinne, with help from family members and contractor Marv Solko, went about remodeling and painting their new home, which is located at 609 North Main Street in Aurelia.

After working on the house "a little bit each year," Jim retired and moved back to Aurelia in April of this year after selling the couple's home, which was on the market for all of 2 1/2 days. Corinne remained in Kissimmee for six more weeks, very grateful that Jim's brother Brian and his wife Maggie invited her to stay with them in their home there, until she, too, retired from her job of 21 years and moved back to Aurelia in June.

Jim and Corinne are now reacquainting themselves with old friends and making new ones, as well as enjoying time with several family members who still live in town, including Jim's sister, a couple of nephews, Corinne's mother, and three of Corinne's four sisters.

While they may have started a new trend by leaving Florida to retire in Northwest Iowa, Jim and Corinne are somewhat traditional, too, and they plan to leave Iowa in mid-December this year to spend some time with their children and grandchildren in the warmer southern climate of Georgia.

But they promise to come back "home" again after their visit.

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