Bonita couple celebrates 70 years of love and giving back

‘Music for minors.’ That is the name of the non-profit providing musical instruments and scholarships for students in Lee and Collier counties.

The foundation was started by one Bonita woman who said World War II had repercussions on her future.

Dorothy Friedenrich could not afford to get an education in the 1940s because the war meant her parents had to tighten their finances. Now, she is inspiring people by helping others get to college.

Arnold and Dorothy Friedenreich. (Credit: WINK News)
Arnold and Dorothy Friedenreich. (Credit: WINK News)

“I should have gone to college,” Dorothy said, “so my main goal in life is to help children get into college.”

Since Dorothy could not afford to attend college during WWII, she created the non-profit ‘Music for Minors’ to support students seeking higher education.

“We’ve been successful at giving out nine music scholarship awards,” Dorothy said.

“She started a very fine foundation to supply children with musical instruments,” said Arnold Friedenrich, her husband. “That foundation called ‘Music for Minors’ has given out over 300 instruments.”

Dorothy said giving back fulfills her life. It is a life she shares with her husband, Arnold, for 70 years.

“The longer we’ve been married,” Dorothy said, “the more I have loved this man.”

Seventy years of laughter.

“The first time I met him, he said something funny that made me laugh and he’s still making me laugh,” Dorothy said.

Dorothy and Arnold took their first steps together in the late 1940s at a dinner dance, where they fell in love.

“She swept me off my feet,” Arnold said.

Then, they danced together through the decades, watching the world around them change.

“There’s been some changes,” Arnold said. “The beginning of television, the beginning of boombox radios. I remember how excited we were when they first came out with the handheld telephone.”

The pair do not hold any regrets – they keep holding onto each other and offer others words of wisdom for making their marriage last. A love that will last a lifetime.

“Learning to say, ‘yes dear,’” Dorothy said.

“Yeah,” Arnold said. “‘Learning to say yes dear’ is right.”

Reporter:Melinda Lee
Writer:Michael Mora
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