Couple celebrating 75 years of marriage both turning 100 just weeks apart
(CNN) -- A husband and wife in Illinois are celebrating turning 100 years young within two weeks of each other. And they've got a big anniversary coming up this year too.
It wasn't your average morning at Mainstreet village of Richfield.
"The dog over there wonders what's going on," said Barnt Hougland.
Yes, service dogs and service members were there to celebrate a milestone so big it even caught the attention of the mayor of Richfield.
"My name is mary supple, I'm the mayor of Richfield, and on behalf of the city, we wanted to wish you a happy hundredth birthday."
"Thank you," Barnt said.
After enlisting in the army during World War II, Barnt Hougland says he never expected to celebrate his 100th birthday.
"Noo... no," Barnt said. "I never even dreamed of it. that that would ever happen. I was just feeling lucky that I was alive then."
Now he's feeling even luckier to be joining his wife in the century club.
"Yeah, that was something we didn't figure on at all," Barnt said.
Rita Hougland turned 100 exactly two weeks earlier.
"It doesn't happen very often, I'm sure," said Betty Hassens.
Hassenstab is also sure it couldn't have happened to a better couple. "They deserve it. It's wonderful. They are just the neatest people."
Rita says their marriage really started shortly after the war when she thought she was taking a quick trip to Minnesota.
"We had a mutual friend and we met through that friend," Rita Hogland said. "I don't know, it just worked out that way. I don't remember."
It certainly did work out, the couple was married on August 9, 1948.
"Just what I was looking for," Barnt said.
Meaning, in a few months they'll celebrate another cake-worthy milestone... 75 years of marriage. If you're wondering about their secret... in addition to taking care of themselves... they say they never forgot to take care of each other.
"He's pretty patient with me," Rita said.
"Just be kind to each other," Barnt said.
Timeless advice from a truly timeless couple.
"Kind of hard to believe it's been this long," Rita said.
The couple does not have kids, but they've done plenty of celebrating with their nephew and extended family over the last two weeks of milestones and as noted, they plan to celebrate their 75th anniversary on August 9.
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