People of SIouxland – Portraits of the Extraordinary

It’s a very special year for Irv and Sue Givot. This long-time local couple has not only overcome the first year of the global pandemic, but they are perhaps the longest living married couple in Sioux City, Iowa. After all, they’ve been married for 69 years.

“We have done so well together,” Irv said.

Over those nearly seven decades, they had two daughters and five grandchildren. After serving in World War II, Irv came home and took over the family-owned Westside Market grocery store as well.

“I worked there before the war. My mother ran it for all long time, so for me it was an easy transition,” Irv said. “It was a great 69 years. I loved work, I loved the customers, I loved the challenges. It was the best decision outside of my marriage with Sue.”

Irv, now 97, said the keys to their marriage longevity are love and respect for each other. “She’s so perfect.”

Irv said there was never a doubt in his mind that he wanted to marry Sue. 

Sue, 91, said she likes to spend much quality time with her husband.

“He’s always been a hard worker for our family and he makes me feel safe.”

Sue said they never really had any big arguments, nor have they had any troubles during this pandemic except that Irv can’t drive anymore due to health issues. “And that’s just fine because now HyVee and Walmart deliver our groceries,” Sue laughed.

“We get along so well. I love him with all my heart,” she said, “And I knew at first, I would be marrying him too.”

In 2021, this Northside couple will celebrate their 70th anniversary, at the place they say they will always love the most: Sioux City. 

Hello, I’m Jetske Wauran and I am so excited to team up with Siouxland Magazine! This team effort will serve as an avenue to share my passion project, “People of Siouxland – Portraits of the Extraordinary.” I launched this project in September 2020, in hopes of inspiring and uplifting others in the most trying of times especially during the pandemic. As a visual storyteller, my mission is to connect with people who have made a true and profound impact in our community and write stories about the underrepresented individuals and hidden gems within Siouxland. You’d be amazed by how many there are! These are everyday people, from all backgrounds and walks of life, that are changing our world for the better. It is an honor to share their unique and remarkable stories with you. Stories that are worth encouraging, enjoying, and celebrating, and can fill our lives with positivity.  

Jetske Wauran is a community activist, professional photographer and Emmy-award winning journalist. 

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