201 years combined: Local couple celebrating 70th anniversary

Medford, Ore. — Two children, a war, several trips overseas, world travels, and even a broken leg; for better or worse Bill and Olive Watson stick together. “We had a lot of experiences, travel, ups and downs, but we survived them all,” says Bill. On Sunday, the Grants Pass couple will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary. They were married March 30th, 1944.

“We met 6 years before that,” says Olive.

Their story is an inspiring one. Bill is 96 years old and Olive is 105.

“As I came out the church door my younger brother said here’s someone you need to meet,” says Olive. Pointing to Bill she says, “…he was only 21. I was 29, of course, romance was out of the question.”

Nevertheless, the two fell for each other and when Olive was 35 they married. Olive says marrying a younger man in those days got her an earful, “People kept saying robbing the cradle. I thought I just can’t take it. It was one of the nicest things I did for myself, because now he still drives the car and has taken on a lot of the housework. He babies me and I like that!”

Unable to have children, the couple adopted two kids who are now 60 and 59. The two credit their longevity with staying active and busy. Olive graduated as a registered nurse in 1933. Bill served as a radio operator in the marines, decoding secret messages during world war 2.

They also shared the secret to their long marriage, “We both loved each other, but we had differences of opinion. We learned how to back off,” says Bill.

“I would wait until everything was smooth, I’d say ‘Bill, we need to talk,'” says Olive, “…then we’d discuss our differences.”

“Find out it’s not that important anyway,” says Bill.

70 years of marriage and a lifetime of memories that they continue to share together. Living proof, love can withstand the test of time.

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