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Oregon couple celebrates 75th wedding anniversary and shares their secret to a long-lasting marriage

The couple, now in their 90s, believes they were just meant to be together as they celebrate their 75th anniversary.

Oregon couple celebrates 75th wedding anniversary and shares their secret to a long-lasting marriage
Cover Image Source: YouTube | KGW News

An Oregon couple, now in their 90s, just celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary and continue to be madly in love. Gene and Virginia Nelson still playfully tease each other and enjoy sharing a laugh. The couple live in Canby, which is a small city around 30 minutes outside of Portland. They met over seven decades ago and decided to elope, which likely frustrated their parents. But despite that, they proved their love was a bond that would last forever. When asked about the key ingredients in the recipe for their long-lasting and happy marriage, 92-year-old Virginia told KGW 8, "We were just meant to be together!" "I don't know, how do you answer this question?" added Gene, 95. "Have patience through the good times and the bad, try to be honest and faithful."

Representational Image Source: Pexels | Anastasia Shuraeva
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Anastasia Shuraeva


What made the couple first fall in love with each other? "She was a sweet girlfriend and I hadn't found out any of her faults yet when we were young," Gene laughed. "Oh, you are going to be in big trouble tonight!" teased Virginia, removing her glasses as she wiped away tears. 75 years ago, the couple moved from Brownsville, Oregon, in Linn County to elope. "Took a bus, went to Reno, got married and came home!" said Virginia, giggling.

Gene sweetly shared the exact age at which they married. "I was 20 and five months, lacked 2 days and she was 17 years and 25 days," he shared. Their youngest grandchild, 29-year-old Cody Westphal, revealed that keeping dates and ages as specific as possible was a way for Gene to keep himself active mentally. "Just actively trying to exercise your mind is how it stays sharp," he said. "He exercises that like a full-time athlete!" The two share three kids, seven grandkids and nine great-grandkids together.



While they are still going strong, so is their refrigerator! The pair still own the same fridge they had purchased from Sears Roebucks after their wedding, which they said remains fully operational. "We've always been thrifty," Gene confessed, adding that they have never even needed to get the fridge serviced. “Now,” added Virginia, "he wants me to put everything on a credit card so that he can check and see what I spend." "No, I don't!" protested Gene. "You know I don't do that. I like to put it on credit cards so I can get 2 percent back!"



The couple share a funny bone and according to the Nelsons' daughter, Judy, "They both have a really good sense of humor." Judy is inspired and in awe of her parents, adding, "It takes a lot to make it 75 years and not give up, and they never gave up." But like any relationship, they have had their struggles as well. "Sometimes, because they bicker about some things, we'll call them the Bickersons," joked Judy. "Even if they fight all day," added Cody, "They don't go to bed angry. I think that's why they wake up the next day and they're still the Bickersons!"

Other values the couple share include tons of patience and trust. "Just be patient, that's the best thing you could do," shared Virginia. "Because if you're not patient, you'll do things that you wish you hadn't done in such a hurry." Gene added, "I got more trust in her than just about anybody." Gene concluded the interview with the sweetest note, "We're in our waning days," he said. "I hope she outlives me because I don't want to outlive her."

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