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QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — Most married couples who work closely together have heard the question before: “How do you not kill each other?”

The answers vary, but all seem to include elements of friendship as the foundation of the relationship and keeping work and home life separate.

Blessing Physician Service’s family medicine doctors, Oluwaseun and Ochuele Odumosu, met in medical school 21 years ago in Nigeria. They’ve been married for 13 years and have worked together through their entire careers.

“It’s more like a friendship,” Ochuele said. “I think when you have a friend, you never really tire of them.”

Both are Nigerian but from two totally different tribes, and their parents were not initially supportive of Oluwaseun’s marrying outside the tribe. Early in the relationship, they had to consider if they wanted to be together and if they wanted to go against their parents’ wishes. The tough choice drew them closer together, and Oluwaseun’s parents eventually came around.

“We’ve essentially had to fight for this relationship,” Oluwaseun said.

After they graduated together, they found jobs together practicing medicine in the United Kingdom, where they had their first child. After they moved to the United States, they were able to join the same residency program in Pennsylvania.

“People think working together is hard, but being residents in the same program was much harder,” Oluwaseun said. “If you have two kids, and you’re both residents, you’re basically just always handing the kids off to each other.”

Ochuele’s pregnancy set her a year behind her husband in their residency. When she returned from maternity leave, Oluwaseun had become chief resident, making him her boss.

“For me, that was proof that we had mastered how to keep it professional,” Ochuele said. “When there’s trust, all the other things come a lot easier.”

Their first job out of residency was at Blessing, where there just happened to be two openings in the same department, Family Medicine.

“When we were looking for a job, it was one of our prerequisites that we had to work in the same department,” Oluwaseun said.

Working together does have its perks. Ochuele has a permanent chauffeur and lunch date. At work, they tend to do their own thing, even though their offices are only feet away from each other.

“There aren’t any conflicts,” Oluwaseun said. “We’re professional at work.”

“At work,” Ochuele said, “you keep the family out of it.”

Chris and Victoria Kelley genuinely enjoy being with each other — being their own bosses and setting their own hours helps alleviate some of the stress on their shoulders. In the years they’ve been married, they have spent one night apart, when Victoria was out of town on a business trip.

They met at a nightclub, when Chris approached Victoria on the dance floor and asked her for a dance.

“I got the dance, but I was too afraid to ask for her number,” he said. “I used up all my courage asking her to dance.”

They reconnected eight months later, when Victoria was cast in a video Chris’ new film production company was shooting.

Victoria was a social worker for nine years, but she left to handle the business side of the company when they got married.

The couple now runs Table Sixteen Productions, a full-service video production company based in Quincy.

“People think we’re weird because we spend all of our time together,” Chris said. “She doesn’t do girls nights, I don’t do guys nights.”

Table Sixteen Productions — named for the number tagged to the booth Chris and his friends would share at Steak and Shake while trying to figure out their futures — shoots corporate and feature films. They run the company out of their home, although most of the time they work in separate areas. Victoria handles scheduling and helps Chris come up with ideas, while he shoots and edits the product.

“We’re equal partners, and we try to balance each other out,” Victoria said. “You pick up the slack for the other person when you have to.”

Dick and Sue Tabb both picked up part-time jobs at John Wood Community College after full-time careers in education. They work in different departments, but sharing the same employer gives them a constant conversation piece.

“She’s on the other end of the building,” Dick said. “We get to hear what’s going on with different programs in different parts of the school.”

They met in their freshman year at Western Illinois University and dated all four years.

Marrying soon after graduation, they both found teaching jobs at Monroe City High School. Teaching two different disciplines helped them to separate their work and home lives.

“There again” Sue said, “I was in elementary, and he was in high school.”

Whether it’s the Panthers or the Trail Blazers, they’ve always enjoyed being able to root for the same team.


Source: The Quincy Herald-Whig,


Information from: The Quincy Herald-Whig,