81 years of Happy Valentine's Days with the same person

81 years of Happy Valentine's Days with the same person
Madeline and Walter Luther have said happy Valentine's Day to each other at least 81 times. Photo by Jamey Boyum KLTV.

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - Do you think you'll ever say happy Valentine's Day to the same person 81 times? A Longview couple has. They've been married 81 years and are still going strong.

Married since 1936, Walter and Madeline Luther are in it for the long haul.

"We were born in Rhode Island. She was born in one town; I was born in the other. There was a river between, separated us. We got together though," Walter said.

Walter says they met at his work.

"Working in a F.W. Woolworth's store and we met there," Walter recalled.

Madeline was shopping with a girlfriend who knew Walter.

"So you weren't looking for clothes or a husband?" I asked Madeline.

"No," she laughed.

"And right away something clicked, and we felt we were meant for each other," Walter revealed.

They started going together.

"And married shortly after," Walter said.

He worked for a scale company for 17 years, but it got too heavy so he went:

"From scales to sales," I commented.

"Yes. It was a paper company," Walter laughed.

That allowed them to travel extensively. Madeline took many trips with him, and through all those hotels and potential wrong turns there was the one consistent thing.

"The big thing is we never had any disagreements or fights in all our marriage. We had little differences, but we reconcile things, we work things out. But we never had a real bitter argument," Walter revealed.

They moved to Longview, sight unseen, to be near their son who found them their new home at Buckner Westminster Place. Several years ago he called and told them:

"You can move in in a month!" Walter said.

And they did. Madeline is 97, and Walter is 101. They say the food is different here than what they were used to closer to the ocean.

"The secret to a long, happy marriage and life is seafood?" I asked Walter.

"That's one of them, yeah," he laughed.

Madeline agrees, but says there is the other thing.

"Love. True love," Madeline added.

They have slowed down, but still go for walks when the weather is nice, and enjoy their view out the window, sitting on the same side of the river..still.

They agree there is another secret to long marriage and life: Faith. They say they both have been attending church since they were children, and Walter served as a Sunday school teacher for years. Their next anniversary is May 24.

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