30 years together; more to celebrate

By Kristen Holland Shear

Jeanne and Steve Seitz have more to celebrate this year than their joint 30th anniversary at UT Southwestern.

The couple welcomed their first grandchild April 6 and will celebrate three decades of marriage in August.

Jeanne and Steve Seitz

The longevity is as much a testament to their Catholic faith, they say, as to their unequivocal devotion to each other. Though Mr. and Mrs. Seitz grew up less than eight miles apart in Wisconsin, they didn’t meet until high school.

“I was friends with Steve’s sister Suzanne, but Steve and I didn’t start dating until the summer after our graduation,” said Mrs. Seitz, a registered nurse on the medical surgery floor at
UT Southwestern University Hospital. “Our first official date was when I asked Steve out to the Christmas party at St. Camillus, the nursing home where I worked as a nurse’s aide before entering nursing school.”

The couple maintained a long-distance relationship when Steve moved to Texas to pursue a biology degree at the University of Dallas. One of 10 children, he was the second to attend the local Catholic university.

“When he got an internship with St. Paul’s medical technology department after graduation, I moved down here and started working at the hospital,” said Mrs. Seitz, who is one of five children. She earned her nursing degree from what is now the Milwaukee School of Engineering School of Nursing.

“We got married when I completed my internship,” said Mr. Seitz, a chief medical technologist.

Since then, they’ve had seven children — five boys and two girls ranging in age from 15 to 28. All were born at what was then known as St. Paul Hospital.

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While the warm weather didn’t hurt, both said the hospital’s Catholic roots attracted them to Texas.

“I preferred the orthodoxy here, which is also why this is the only hospital I applied to and the only medical technology program I applied to,” said Mr. Seitz, who currently works the night shift so he can spend time with the two children still at home.

Mrs. Seitz said the secret to their success is twofold — humor and “you have to go into marriage with the idea that this is it.”

The tightknit family isn’t all work and no play. Mr. and Mrs. Seitz direct a choir at St. Luke’s Catholic Church in Irving and are involved in many local theater and opera productions — she in the costume department, he onstage.

“I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, but I’ve only been performing onstage again for the last two to three years,” Mr. Seitz said. “I took a 30-year sabbatical.”

As for retirement? “We have two in college and two more on the way,” Mr. Seitz said.