When out and about in Fairfield, people might notice two ladies walking together and think they might be seeing double, but they could have just caught a glimpse of the Proksch sisters, Ema and Gloria, identical twins who have been dressing alike for as long as they can remember.
“We do it because it’s fun; we have fun,” the sisters agreed as their infectious laughter filled the room. Seconds later, the fashionably garbed pair crossed their legs at the exact same time.
“For us, it’s so normal,” they remarked about their near identical clothing, hairstyles, and makeup. One might notice that even their mannerisms are similar.
Their mother dressed them alike as children, the dress code stuck and has carried on for decades.
“We still pick out the same things in the store,” Gloria said, adding that their taste in clothing is also similar because either one of them tends to select the same items even if the other one isn’t around.
Born on Valentine’s Day in Barcelona, Spain, Ema and Gloria were their parent’s only children. Born 30 minutes apart, the two have shared a remarkable bond throughout their lives.
“Our poor mamma!” Gloria said. “If one of us got sick, the other one had it. We had the mumps and chicken pox … we had everything together.”
The Proksch sisters were raised in Guadalajara, Mexico, and said they were very blessed to have grown up in a “loving and warm family.”
“Our father was the vice consul to Spain in Mexico,” Gloria said. “So we went to high school and college in Mexico.”
As youth, the sisters loved the romanticism of Mexican culture, where suitors serenaded their love interests.
They shared a story of a particular admirer who was smitten by one of them, but he brought roses to both sisters and their mother.
“He gave 100 red roses to each of us!” Gloria exclaimed. “It’s a very romantic culture there in Guadalajara, Mexico.”
After reaching young adulthood, the inseparable pair attended the same university together, the Academia de Comercio Julio Sierra, which is a private university in Guadalajara.
Additionally, the two majored and minored in the same subjects.
“We picked out the same degrees in business and accounting,” Ema said, adding that the only differences during their college careers was that Gloria graduated the year before she did.
“I graduated in three years,” Gloria said, adding that she opted to take on more coursework in less time so that she could finish early.
Gloria also married first. Ema followed suite three years later, but the most interesting thing is, whom she married.
“We married brothers,” Gloria said. “That was destiny … sometimes you don’t plan things, they just happen in your life.”
The two refer to their husbands Charles and Ronald, who are now deceased as their “honeys.”
Gloria and her husband Charles had two daughters, Charlene and Veronica.
Ema and her husband Ronald, who were married for 45 years, didn’t have any children.
Nonetheless Ema still experienced morning sickness.
“When [Gloria] got pregnant, I got pregnant, too,” Ema said. “I got sick twice! My doctor said ‘Ema, you have all of the symptoms of pregnancy, but you’re not pregnant.’”
Outside of sharing the feeling of motherhood with her sister, Ema is just as much of a grandmother as her sister is.
“Yes, they are my grandchildren, too!” Ema said, adding that her sister’s children refer to the pair as, “Our grandmothers are coming,” when they visit them in Texas and Colorado.
“I say, ‘thank God that I have love from them,’” she said. “They are my life, too.”
“We were blessed with beautiful children and grandchildren,” Gloria said. “Our daughters have beautiful husbands … and we will have another precious little [grand] baby girl May 26.”
In addition to enjoying their family, the twins who are now in their 70s, lead exceptionally full lives.
They are both avid ballroom dancers, love walking their dogs, traveling and dining out.
Ema’s home is in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, and both she and Gloria live there during Iowa’s colder months.
“We go there in January and February, which are the coldest months, and then come back March 2,” said Gloria, who works fulltime as a legal assistant and accountant for immigration attorney James D. Pearson.
Gloria has been in Fairfield since the 1970s.
“In 1974, my husband found [Maharishi International University] and Transcendental Meditation,” she said, adding that the family was living in Palm Springs, California, at the time and came back and forth until 1978 when they decided to relocate to Fairfield.
“The kids loved the school,” she said of Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment.
Both Charlene and Veronica graduated from there and went on to Cornell College in Mount Vernon. Ema found her way to Fairfield later.
“Fairfield is the most beautiful, peaceful, warm, loving place to live, because the meditator family is just wonderful, and that’s why we are still here,” Ema said.