Genesee County couple celebrates 70th anniversary - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Genesee County couple celebrates 70th anniversary

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GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) - (07/18/14) - While many hollywood couples call it quits in a matter of months, a Genesee County couple is proving that it doesn't have to be that way.

In fact, they're setting the standard for longevity and marital bliss.

It's a courtship that began in Chattanooga Tennessee, back in 1944.

"I worked in a garage on Broad Street, and there was a little restaurant next door. She worked there as waitress and that's where I met her," said Robert Allen.

When Lillie Kate first laid eyes on Robert Allen, she clearly liked what she saw.

"He was tall, good looking and darned handsome. Good looking and handsome," she said.

Robert didn't waste anytime making his move.

"I asked her for date and she said 'OK,' and three months later, we got married," he said.

This week, in Mt. Morris Township, the couple celebrated their seventieth anniversary - a gathering that featured a meal prepared by Lillie and some high-stakes bingo with family and friends.

"Trying to win some money. We need it," Robert said.

As for the secret to keeping a marriage strong for seven decades? Lillie offers some simple advice.

"Shut your mouth and listen, instead of talking," she said.

That philosophy - and restraint - has brought Robert and Lillie five children, 15 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren.

"It sounds like they bicker all the time. It's just the way they communicate. It has to work. You don't make 70 years if it doesn't," said Gary Allen, Robert and Lille's son.

Gary is already counting on everyone being together for mom and dad's eightieth anniversary celebration.

"They're too ornery to leave. They'll be here in 10 years. They're not going anywhere," he said.
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