Couple celebrates 70th wedding anniversary near Valentine's Day
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - The world has changed a lot in 70 years. One thing that hasn't changed since 1948, though, is the love one Gwinnett County couple shares.
The Maurers are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary. John and Bettye met in 1947 when they were both working for the FBI.
They've survived a heart attack and cancer and this past weekend the sweet couple celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary, surrounded by family.
"That's J. Edgar Hoover and that's me," John shows off in a photo mounted on the wall.
For John, the WWII Navy Veteran from Wisconsin, and Bettye, the teenage Texas girl, their love story started within the walls of the FBI.
"So this FBI agent came and talked to our class and told us they needed employees in Washington, so I thought, 'Hmmm... that sounded kind of fun, go up to Washington to work for the FBI.' Then I had planned to come back during the summer and start college, but I met him," Bettye says, motioning to John. "I stayed there and then we got engaged and we got married the following year."
The two recall date nights in the 1940's at a local church.
"He made me go. I was not Catholic. He said, 'I want you to go with me and hear this pastor speak, cause it might help you become a Catholic.'" Bettye says.
"I don't know what I was thinking about. I know, it was a cheap date," laughs John.
It's clear the two have shared a lot of laughs and made countless memories over the years.
"That's a Model A. We were living in El Paso then," the couple shows off photos.
The couple moved from city to city, as John tackled cases as a Special Agent for the FBI. After D.C., the Maurers spent time in Boston, Baltimore, Texas and eventually made their way to Atlanta in 1968.
"That was a very hard move, moving from Texas where my family was and he came and told me we were going to be transferred to Atlanta, Georgia. I said, 'Atlanta? Where in the world is Atlanta, Georgia?'" Bettye says.
They finally put down roots in Gwinnett County, with John retiring from the FBI in 1980. Now they enjoy spending time with their three daughters, seven grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.
"70 good years, we've had lots of fun. We've been in lots of different cities and met lots of different people," adds Bettye.
"This is us coming out of the church," John digs up their wedding photo. He is 92 and she is 88. John survived a heart attack and Bettye fought back against cancer.
They say there's no real secret to a happy marriage, just a lot of love, happiness, and respect.
"Talk to each other and give to each other, understand each other, be loving to each other," Bettye shares. "...And don't go to bed angry," John adds. "No, never go to bed angry." Bettye reiterates.
Even after 70 years, there is one thing that will send them giggling like school kids, and that's if you ask them to kiss.
"How long has it been? I guess we could. You want to kiss me? I guess I could kiss him," Bettye laughs before the two embrace. "That was gross. No more kissing," they smile and laugh.
While 70 is a big anniversary, John already has his eye set on 75.
"I think we're good for another five, so you all come back in five years," he smiles.
Their actual anniversary was Saturday, February 10, and the whole family threw them a party at their home to celebrate.