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US They've celebrated Valentine's Day together for 7 decades. The secret? 'Great commitment.'

13:50  14 february  2020
13:50  14 february  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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Valentine ' s Day , also called Saint Valentine ' s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine , is celebrated annually on February 14. Originating as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early

Just in time for Valentine ’ s Day , we’ ve rounded up some of our favorite celebrity love stories. These two have quietly been together for decades , but they never married–and according to Oprah Winfrey, that’s the secret to their relationship’s success.

NAPLES, Fla. – Juanita and Owen Henning can think of a few reasons to celebrate this Valentine’s Day. Seventy-one reasons, in fact.

a man wearing glasses: Owen and Juanita Henning pose for a portrait, Monday, Feb. 11, 2020, at Bentley Village in North Naples. The Hennings have been married for 71-years.© Jon Austria/Naples Daily News Owen and Juanita Henning pose for a portrait, Monday, Feb. 11, 2020, at Bentley Village in North Naples. The Hennings have been married for 71-years.

The 89-year-olds have been together for 71 years since they married on Feb. 5, 1949.

“I still sort of like him from when I first saw him,” Juanita Henning said.

And how did they meet? As freshmen in Latimer, Iowa. Their class had 11 people, in total. She fancied him, and he must have fancied her back because four years later, they were married.

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Just in time for Valentine ’ s Day , we’ ve rounded up some of our favorite celebrity love stories. These two have quietly been together for decades , but they never married–and according to Oprah Winfrey, that’s the secret to their relationship’s success.

Either at a church-wide Valentine banquet or during the Sunday worship service, ask the staff members the questions about their spouses. On the Sundays leading up to February 14, ask one couple to share each week during the worship service the stories of how they met, how they got engaged, how

Juanita wrote her story across two pages of notebook paper, front and back. Her tiny cursive scrawl tells the story of their family: Latimer had about 400 people in it, a number that hasn’t changed much in the decades since they met. When they married, they moved into a farm tenant house. Their home was full of secondhand appliances, and they still used an outhouse and a wringer-style washing machine.

In their second home, most of Juanita Henning’s days began at 6 a.m. when she made breakfast and packed a lunch for Owen, who worked for his father’s construction company. She became a mother to two children, a girl and a boy, and Juanita remembers the joy she felt when they got a dryer for her children’s cloth diapers.

“Life was good being in a small town where you never locked your doors and kids played freely all over until dinnertime,” Juanita wrote.

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This perfect description of Valentine ' s Day between two parents who' ve been together for a long time made me laugh til I cried! But after all that time together , our gift-giving has gotten a bit…lax. Actually, we still do great for Christmas and birthdays, and even anniversaries (especially a big one)

Valentine ’ s Day , which is always celebrated on February 14 each year, is not just a day for lovers. Valentine ’ s Day is a day where friends and family can So before men marched off to war, Valentine performed secret marriage ceremonies all over Rome. When his underground practice was revealed

a person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Owen and Juanita Henning pose for a portrait, Monday, Feb. 11, 2020, at Bentley Village in North Naples. The Hennings have been married for 71-years.© Jon Austria/Naples Daily News Owen and Juanita Henning pose for a portrait, Monday, Feb. 11, 2020, at Bentley Village in North Naples. The Hennings have been married for 71-years.

Their horizons quickly expanded: a poodle named “Fi-Fi” entered their lives, their son graduated from college and Owen stepped back from the construction industry to focus on selling grain handling systems. Owen and Juanita would eventually travel the world.

Once their parents died, they decided to move to Marco Island, Florida. They lived there for a few decades before they eventually moved to Vi at Bentley Village in Naples, where they remain. Owen stays in the assisted living facility, and Juanita visits him for hours every day.

Neither really have pet peeves with one another.

“I could do worse, and you could do better,” Owen said to his wife recently. “We came up in a small town where we kind of made do.”

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Maybe “making do” isn’t quite accurate — 71 years seems more impressive than that. And apparently, it rubbed off. Both their son and daughter have been married for several decades, too.

Jeff Henning, their son, said his parents set an excellent example for him.

“They’ve been a pair, peas in a pod, as long as I’ve known them,” he said. “Sometimes opposites attract. Consequently, the two of them made a pretty strong pair in the process.”

He said he was impressed by the strength it took for his parents to grow together, and he’s happy he’s been able to learn from them.

“It shows great commitment on both sides. It shows compromise,” Jeff Henning said.

William P. Rogers et al. sitting on a chair in front of a window: Owen and Juanita Henning pose for a portrait, Monday, Feb. 11, 2020, at Bentley Village in North Naples. The Hennings have been married for 71-years.© Jon Austria/Naples Daily News Owen and Juanita Henning pose for a portrait, Monday, Feb. 11, 2020, at Bentley Village in North Naples. The Hennings have been married for 71-years.

Juanita and Owen Henning didn’t have much advice to give on the secret to a long relationship, nor did they presume to know all the answers.

But Juanita shared the best advice she had heard, from the preacher that married her and Owen: “For better or worse.”

Follow Andrew Atkins on Twitter: @andrewjatkins.

This article originally appeared on Naples: They've celebrated Valentine's Day together for 7 decades. The secret? 'Great commitment.'

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