For Valentines Percy and Ruth Werner, it was love at first sight.
“It was immediate,” Mrs. Werner said with a smile. “Something in my head said, ‘You’re going to marry that man.’”
The Werners, both 92, will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary Feb. 18. Their love has spanned a world war, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
“When we have an argument, she says, ‘Just because I’m wrong doesn’t mean you’re right,’” Werner said with a laugh. “We’ve had arguments, but we’ve never had a falling out.”
The couple credits their love for each other and their love for Christ as the reason their marriage has lasted seven decades.
“We try to live the life Christ would want,” Mrs. Werner said.
When they met, neither was looking for a relationship, they said.
Werner had only just gotten his class ring back from a previous relationship.
They met while Werner was training with the Army at Camp Fannin — the two attended an event at a Baptist center for servicemen. They met in August, only six months before their wedding at Hopewell Baptist Church.
Werner went overseas to France in June shortly after D-Day. He was overseas for two-and-a-half years.
“We wrote letters nearly every day. I still have them, but those are private,” Mrs. Werner said with a smile.
Even after the war, the couple’s lives weren’t without difficulty. They lost their first daughter in 1946. She lived about 20 minutes.
“She was premature,” Werner said. “If she was born today, she would probably have lived.”
Still, the couple went on to have three more daughters, born in 1948, 1950 and 1952. They have eight grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. They have lived in the same house in Tyler since 1946.
Around their home, the Werners each have things they have made.
Werner used the skills he learned as a finish carpenter after the war and from his career of more than 35 years as a master pattern maker at Tyler Pipe to make furniture, music boxes and other items.
Mrs. Werner makes porcelain dolls, dollhouses and quilts.
Having little hobbies that are your own is good for a marriage, she said.
But perhaps the greatest secret is a sense of good humor.
“Her blue eyes got me,” Werner said when asked what he liked about Mrs. Werner when they first met.
“You couldn’t see that from across the room,” Mrs. Werner said with a laugh.
“Back then I could!” he replied.