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Local couple works together to save lives

Tim Meulemans, Courtny Gerrish

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Local couple works together to save lives

By Tim Meulemans, Courtny Gerrish. CREATED Oct 1, 2013 - UPDATED: Oct 1, 2013

MILWAUKEE - When most people say 'I do' they don't marry their job.  Ted and Jane Kotchen did, and their experience might be a lesson for all of us.

Like many couples in their 70's... Ted and Jane like to take walks together.  That's not the only thing they do together.  They're both doctors.  Ted loves treating patients.

His patient Doris says, "A couple of years ago they were talking about you retiring and you just shook your head and smiled."

He also loves research, and Jane, whom he met in medical school almost 50 years ago.  They taught a lab together.  

"Jane and I were assigned one night to go out and collect the frogs.  I think she caught me at the same time we caught the frogs," Ted recalls.  Jane replies, "I would have to say so.  Yes."

It was the beginning of a great relationship, as man and wife, and scientists--combining their skills. 

"Modern science is collaborative science," Jane says.

Researching high blood pressure and salt, and community health, they take collaboration to new levels--co-writing over 30 articles and books.  All while raising 5 kids!!

Jane reasons, "I have always said, if you have one, you might as well have five."

Over the years they followed each other to different colleges and cities. 

If all this togetherness has taken it's toll, they don't show it.  They share a sense of humor., but don't share a desk.  They each have their own space--10 feet apart.

They both feel lucky in finding the right person to work at life with.  "That makes such a huge difference. It requires a great deal of thought and introspection," Jane says.

Ted adds, "Stay loose. There are going to be frustrations. Its not always perfect. You always have to work at the relationship."

If you think the Kotchen's are thinking about retirement, think again. They're planning a new career and taking classes at UWM--together of course.