John and Charlotte Henderson will celebrate their eight-decade partnership just before Christmas, on December 22.
The Texas couple are 106 and 105, and have spent the vast majority of the last century together. Their romantic epic began at a University of Texas zoology course in 1934, where John was seated behind his future partner. “I thought he was just a fine fella, and I didn’t mind his looking over my shoulder,” Charlotte told the Washington Post.
After a five year engagement — “it took her five years to make up her mind that she wanted to get married,” John laughed — the young couple were wed in front of just two guests on December 22, 1939. They settled in Baytown, Texas, and John moved from coaching to working for Humble Oil and Refining Co. until his retirement in 1972.
The couple credits the longevity of their lives and marriage to living in moderation, though John noted that they never had children, and “some people have said that’s really why we’ve lived so long!” They follow responsible diets, they don’t drink (much), and they exercise regularly.
And while the pair does not “argue,” that is not because of a lack of disagreement; they have a pact to always settle things before bedtime. At the beginning of their marriage, Austin had barely more than 50,000 citizens. Two million people, and nearly a century later, this love story is still going strong.