March 9, 2010
Who says marriages can’t last a lifetime? In this day when so many view marriage as a short term relationship, it’s nice to hear about one that keeps getting stronger as the years roll by.
"It is a great day of our lives."
It was 75 years ago this day – a great day to start a life together. And here in Newton, 75 years later, Milton and Pauline Willis are remembering that day and preparing for a big family celebration coming up this weekend to celebrate the milestone anniversary.
There’s no getting around the fact that they were mighty young by today’s standards to be getting married.
"I was 17 and he was 20," Pauline said.
Which means Milt is now 95 and Pauline is about to turn 92.
Hanging on the wall of the Willis’ retirement center room is the couple’s marriage license issued March 9, 1935 from Terry County, Texas, Southwest of Lubbock.
The display was given for their 60th wedding anniversary, which seems so long ago now.
"Nobody told us we were going to live that long," Pauline said.
And thought it was 75 years ago, they remember it well.
"Oh yes, sun shinning and the wind happened to be calm and that happened to be unusual. It was just a good day," Milton said.
It wasn’t exactly the way Pauline envisioned it.
"I meant for us to have a church wedding, Pauline said. But, that was just too fast," Pauline said.
It was sudden because Milt’s parents sold the family farm and moving. He wasn’t about to leave without the love of his life and 75 years later, Milton says he knows why their marriage has endured.
"Because we were Christians. If we hadn't have been we would have been like a lot of others. We wouldn't have made it. We had some rough times as it was.," Milton said.
Pauline’s advise for a lasting marriage:
"Love for one thing. And a lot of it, I guess.”