Over 40 years of love: Rogue Valley Manor couple share their love story ahead of Valentine’s Day

MEDFORD, Ore. — In a three day series, ending on Valentine’s Day, NBC5 is telling love stories from the ages. We teamed up with the Rogue Valley Manor to show three couple’s incredible journey’s through love and life.

Meet Cathy and Cam who have been married for 41 years. When they met they didn’t hear wedding bells but instead the crash of a gong. Back in the 1970’s at Cal State Stanislaus, Cathy Fitzpatrick was in student government and Cam Deen was in the drama department. “There was a popular TV show called ‘The Gong Show,’ that was basically a kind of talent show with very offbeat acts,” Cathy and Cam said.

As the student activities advisor, Cathy decided to host Stanislaus’ own talent show. “I hired him and I don’t even think he got paid,” said Cathy.  “I don’t think so,” laughed Cam. “I got him to host ‘The Gong Show’ for us,” she remembered. “So we had a romance kind of, budded it just kind of got rolling,” the two said.

From there you could say the rest was history. “It started out as a business proposition and then turn into a romance,” said Cam. They graduated in ’76, got into the same teaching credential program and “we eventually got jobs about the same time and you know, at some point in time, we got married,” said Cam. The pair got married in 1980 and didn’t pay a penny.

“We had a bunch of people over and we got married. Most people did not know we were going to actually do the thing that night. We just said, ‘oh, by the way, we’re getting married!'” A friend married them, Cathy wore a dress she had made herself from a Vogue pattern and Cam wore a Mexican wedding shirt with marijuana leaves he had picked up in Tijuana

Then they began to teach and travel. When asked what their favorite day together was, they’ll say Switzerland when they hiked around the Matterhorn. As for what has kept their love alive for over four decades, they say to take things one day at a time. They suggest being tolerant and be forgiving. Cam cheekily adds that he does what he’s told, which always helps.

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