Couple Celebrates 70 Years of Marriage

By Jonathan Cooper |

Published 02/14 2014 04:46PM

Updated 02/14 2014 08:54PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) On February 2nd, as people around the world partied during the Super Bowl, Bill and Edna Lutes were celebrating for a different reason.

They have been married for 70 years.

"We just don't really realize how many years it's been," Edna said.

It was a time for reflection. Seventy years of children, heartache, joy and love.

"I don't know what I'd do without her," Bill said.

They met in high school.

After graduation, Bill fought for his country in World War II.

"It was a difficult time to leave her," he said.

It was a make or break time for the young couple. So much so that Bill decided to marry her before he left.

"I deeply loved her," he said. "I was afraid I would lose her."

But their love never dwindled. Edna worried about his safety daily, so she decided to communicate the only way she knew how.

"I wrote him a letter every day he was gone," she said.

In those letters she would write about her day and how she missed him.

It's something that Bill says, he desperately needed.

"I needed something to hold on to while I was over there," Bill said. "When things got going pretty tough, I would talk to her."

He would also read her letters when he could.

"We didn't get letters every day," he said.

To make up for it, he carried a picture of Edna wherever he went.

It's a picture he says he would talk to.

"There wasn't any way we could talk over there," he said.

After several months at war, Bill came home, but on his way caught malaria.

"I got so sick, I couldn't do much about it," he said.

Edna was there to greet him and be by his side during the recovery.

In the years after the war, Bill and Edna farmed in Platte County. They had three children, several grandchildren and even more great-grandchildren.

"We're all located around here," Bill said.

They still talk about those letters.

Most of them are long gone, lost over the years.

But there is one thing Bill still carries with him everywhere he goes. It's something he's kept for decades.

Still tucked safely in his wallet, is a picture of Edna. The same one he had in the war.

"Marrying her was the best thing I've ever done," Bill said, wiping tears away from his eyes.

And now 70 years later, they're still in love.

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