Randolph County's Longest Married Couple Reflects on 71 Years

6 years 10 months 1 week ago Sunday, September 29 2013 Sep 29, 2013 Sunday, September 29, 2013 7:41:00 PM CDT September 29, 2013 in News
By: Eric Hilt, KOMU 8 Reporter and Julia Manning, KOMU 8 Producer
loading

MOBERLY - Lifetime Moberly residents Bob and Norma Leavene know a thing or two about making a relationship last.

"Just really be in love and don't fail to tell your mate that you love them," Norma said. "Still today he tells me 50 times a day that he loves me and always has and always will."

It's a love that's lasted 71 years, and landed them the title of "Randolph County Old Settlers Longest Married Couple" for the past three.

Norma says it was love at first sight.

"I met him in May," she said. "We had our first date on the Fourth of July...on July 30 he asked me to go steady, and by September 5 we were married."

Norma, 89, and Bob, 88, met in high school after Norma started working for Bob's dad.

They were married in 1942 and about a year later Bob enlisted and was shipped overseas as a member of the Navy.

He says memories of the war still haunt him, but hobbies like painting, collecting old lamps and fixing up furniture have kept him busy. Not to mention his steady growing family.

"We had five children," Norma said. "We have 23 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren."

A big family meant a bustling kitchen, and a lot of cooking for Norma.

"It's fun having a big family," she said. "Before we got old and had to give up our home, Sunday dinner was my thing. I had at least 20 to 30 people over every Sunday to gather around the table and find out about everyone's week."

After Bob retired in 1986 the two took their love for traveling to a whole new level.

"Germany was a favorite place," Norma said. "We did a whole ten week tour through Europe, too."

Norma's role as president of the national organization Daughters of the American Colonists also sent them on many trips to Washington D.C. The two have even visited all 50 states at least once.

Together they've shared plenty of laughs, and tears.

"The biggest thing we ever faced was losing a daughter," Norma said. "She was 29 years old. If we hadn't had one another it would have been terrible...but when you have somebody to cry with, it helps.

Now, they're sharing the struggles of a horrible disease. Three years ago Bob had a stroke and is now suffering from early-onset Alzheimer's.

But Norma said the two will face it like they have everything else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Although standardized testing will not be a requirement for admission to the UM System this year, some local... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 7:02:00 PM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — After a Board of Education meeting earlier this week, Columbia Public Schools will still give families the choice... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 6:45:14 PM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. This... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 5:30:00 PM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Police have arrested 39-year old Justin Spence, of Columbia, in connection with a burglary that occurred early Tuesday... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 2:08:00 PM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — The Boone County Commission approved $1.8 million in federal coronavirus relief money (CARES Act) for the health department... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 1:54:00 PM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 11:08:00 AM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Water supply district number 1 is under a precautionary boil advisory because of low water pressure. There... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 11:04:04 AM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
Editor's note: This op-ed is a collaboration between the mental health doctors in the United States from the National Network... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 9:39:57 AM CDT August 12, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA - After school programs have to make adjustments because of the Columbia school board’s vote to delay the start... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 3:31:00 AM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Monday crash in Jefferson City damaged three parked vehicles and injured the driver. Curtis Murrell... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 8:18:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 confirmed on the scene of the incident a man was shot on Tuesday at the Columbia... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 7:22:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia mayor Brian Treece called on college students to make smart choices when returning to campus. "I... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:58:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Mizzou superfan Brian Garner has accumulated hundreds of coaches and players' signatures on his prosthetic leg. He hasn't... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:45:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The news conference is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m., according to Trump. More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:26:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Public school administrators discussed, Tuesday afternoon, the district's reopening plans, as student prepare for the start of... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:16:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — In a new briefing Tuesday afternoon, Columbia police asked the public for information on two separate early-morning incidents.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:53:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The parking lot at Tolton Catholic High School will fill up two weeks before Columbia Public Schools. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:49:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- [Breaking news update, published at 4:40 p.m. ET] The Pac-12 Conference CEO Group unanimously voted Tuesday to... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:34:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
10am 79°
11am 82°
12pm 84°
1pm 85°