High school sweethearts celebrate 20 years of marriage this Valentine's Season

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Heidi and Phillip Scheibmeir share a little fun and cake at their wedding in this photo from nearly 20 years ago.

Sherman couple Heidi and Phillip Scheibmeir are well known educators in the Sherman and Denison school systems. This month, the pair, who have five children together including their triplets, will celebrate 20 years of marriage. 

But many people who know the Scheibmeirs don't know that the high school sweethearts were broken up for years before they eventually made their way back to each other and down the aisle. 

In fact, Phillip Scheibmeir was studying for the priesthood at one point. 

And even they can't seem to agree on how things started to get serious for the pair who had known one another for years. 

"To this day we debate whether our first date was the movie "A Nightmare before Christmas" or "Sleepless in Seattle." We went to prom and sometimes at school we would embarrass each other by tossing water on the other person as some weird form of flirting," Phillip Scheibmeir said in a recent email. 

Phillip and Heidi Scheibmeir in their high school prom photo.

While they may not be clear on where they went for a first date, Heidi Scheibmeir is clear on when she first noticed him. 

"I remember the first time I met Phillip was when I was in Dillingham Choir in 6th grade. We were both in Lottie Porter's choir classes, and he had a solo at our Christmas concert. I had a crush on him in middle school, but we were just friends all throughout middle school and high school, until our senior year at Sherman High," she said. 

"We began dating, and we were both in the A Cappella Choir at SHS. Duane Gohlke, our choir director, whom we loved, would make fun of us in his jovial way, and yes, we got into a few water fights in the choir room, while Mr. Gohlke just shook his head," she said. 

They dated for three years before they decided they had reached a point where they had to take the plunge or walk away. 

"We were very young and focused on college, not ready for careers or commitment," Phillip Scheibmeir wrote. "Some people do not know that we decided to break up and stayed apart for almost four years before we got back together." 

He said Heidi Scheibmeir dated a long list of guys while he pursued the priesthood. 

"We both will admit that this break was a hidden gift as we got to know ourselves more," he said and she agreed.   

" Phillip told me from the beginning of us dating our senior year that he would be a priest someday. I didn't think too much of it, as I knew we would both go to college in the fall and probably go our separate ways. However, three years later, we were still dating, as we were attending college. We did finally break up in that third year, as Phillip needed to pursue the priesthood, and we both needed to make sure we knew ourselves and could be independent on our own, if that makes sense." she said.  

While Phillip Scheibmeir was studying for the priesthood with the Diocese of Dallas, Heidi Scheibmeir worked to finish her degree in teaching. 

"I actually converted to Catholicism (I was raised Methodist) while we had broken up. It was a decision I made on my own with God and felt very called to do, and then I became a youth minister at St. Mark Catholic Church in Denton, while still finishing my degree," she said. 

She began teaching 1st grade at Immaculate Conception School in Denton. 

"We tried to not communicate much, as I wanted him to focus on what God was calling him to, and I also wanted to discern God's Will for myself. However, when we would go back to Sherman to visit family, sometimes we would run into each other at St. Mary's Catholic Church," she said 

Then there came a day in the spring of their third year not dating each other, that she got a call at the Catholic school where she was teaching at the time in Denton. 

"I did not have a cell phone then, so I had to go to the office to receive the call. Phillip was calling from an airport, as he and some fellow seminarians were flying back from Rome on a trip during Spring Break. He asked me if I was free the next night. I told him I was not because I already had plans. We did, however, meet up the next weekend for a visit," she said. 

Phillip Scheibmeir ended up finishing that year of seminary but the couple realized that they were meant to be together and they got engaged shortly after he left the seminary.  

Six months later, wedding bells rang at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Sherman for the couple even though they actually lived in Denton.  

"We loved St. Mary's, and we really wanted to be married at that church," she said. 

Just months later, the two became five. 

Philip and Heidi Scheibmeir share a cup of coffee last year

"We both believe God made up for our delay by blessing us with triplets only 7 months later (they were born prematurely in case anyone might be wondering about the math).  Our faith and five children have been our strongest bond. We have learned that we are not easy to live with but could not imagine navigating this world without each other," Phillip Scheibmeir said.  

His wife agreed. 

"Phillip is correct that God and our family has been a strong hold on our marriage. It is true that "Marriage Takes Three," with God in the center. We will be married 20 years this February 17th (Ash Wednesday!), and I am even more in love with him than ever. We have been blessed with five wonderful children, and yes, it was a gigantic surprise that our first- born were triplets." 

She said the couple has joked that they dated three years, then broke up for three years, and then when they married, God sent them three babies. 

"Once I was pregnant (before we knew we were having triplets), Phillip had some of his students (he taught middle school at the time, and I taught first grade then), praying that we would have identical twins! We joked that they prayed extra hard because we did have identical boys, along with Miriam, our girl with the triplets. Three years almost to the day that the triplets were born, Colman came along, and then 4 years later, Mattie was born," she said. 

But those babies are almost all grown now with some of them driving and working jobs. Still the Scheibmeirs say they think trusting God's plan for their family has gotten them all through life's little surprises, good and bad. And they are looking forward to what the future holds for them and their children.

Heidi and Phillip Scheibmeir with their five children in a recent family photo.