Imagine finding the love of your life as a teenager, getting married and then staying married for over 8 decades.
Seem too incredible to be true? It’s not for Dale and Alice Rockey. The Kansas couple married 81 years ago have still managed to keep their union not only intact, but strong and happy as well.
Last February, the California based Christian group, Worldwide Marriage Encounter, honored the Rockeys with an award for the nation’s longest married couple. Although the title implies that the two have the longest marriage in the country, the award was taken from just a total of 375 nominations.
The couple grew up just a few blocks from each other in a small Nebraska town. One day back in 1933 during the Great Depression the two had plans to go on a double date, only Dale was supposed to go with the other girl and Alice with the other boy. That afternoon while his date was still at work, Dale pulled up in front of Alice’s house to see her sitting on the front porch. He asked her if she wanted to go for a ride. Alice agreed and the two had what would become their first date.
They got married a mere six months later, still in their teens.
Over the years the two had 5 sons, 15 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great grandchildren.
Now both 99 years old, Dale and Alice live together in a skilled nursing facility in Olathe, Kansas. When asked if they still love each other at their award presentation ceremony, Dale responded with a laugh, “You’re damn right!”
Responsible for nominating the couple, their son Tom Rockey explained to reporters of Kansas City’s Fox 4 News how proud the whole family was:
“They’re a beautiful couple,” he said. “You don’t see them together without holding hands.”
And what does Alice credit to keeping their marriage so happy over the years? As she told the Kansas City Star:
“I always let him have my way.”