Randolph County's Longest Married Couple Reflects on 71 Years

4 years 10 months 2 weeks 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
BOONVILLE – About 100 people rode their bikes early Saturday to help raise funds for the 43rd annual Missouri River... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 2:23:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
PLATTE CITY, Mo. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies in northwestern Missouri's Platte County say they've seized more than 200 pounds of... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:48:56 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
BLACK JACK (AP) — A baby bobcat found in eastern Missouri and being nursed back to health might be mistaken... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:42:55 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Funding cuts to in-home care for the disabled could force some Missouri residents into nursing homes,... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:34:39 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
MILLER COUNTY - Miller County Sheriff Louie Gregoire said two people suffered gunshot wounds Friday night. Gregoire said the suspect... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:23:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The North America Diving Dogs dock diving competition was in its second of three days Saturday at the... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:01:00 PM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is investigating an attempted burglary of an off-campus sorority house near MU. In... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 11:01:00 AM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
MOBERLY - The Moberly Police Department is currently investigating an armed robbery of Break Time North, 1210 East US 24.... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 10:18:00 AM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- New court documents filed in the case of a Colorado man suspected of killing his pregnant wife and... More >>
16 hours ago Saturday, August 18 2018 Aug 18, 2018 Saturday, August 18, 2018 12:09:31 AM CDT August 18, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — It's not just audiotapes. Omarosa Manigault Newman has a stash of video, emails, text messages and... More >>
17 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 10:57:37 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials on Thursday approved a new generic version of EpiPen, the emergency allergy medication that... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 8:10:26 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- The bomb used by the Saudi-led coalition in a devastating attack on a school bus in Yemen was... More >>
20 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 7:41:13 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
(CNN) -- A judge has ordered a mental evaluation for the man accused of starting the Holy Fire that has... More >>
21 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 7:14:03 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An ethics panel says there's reason to believe that former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens broke the... More >>
22 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 5:43:44 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A community Facebook post on a Jefferson City page said a student got dropped off at the... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 5:22:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
BRANSON (AP) — A former employee of a southwestern Missouri paddlewheel tourist boat alleges in a lawsuit that he suffered... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 4:36:01 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
LINN- Forbes Magazine named State Technical College of Missouri as the third best two-year trade school in the country. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 3:44:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — The Islamic Center of Central Missouri in Columbia is finally moving forward with an expansion project after... More >>
1 day ago Friday, August 17 2018 Aug 17, 2018 Friday, August 17, 2018 2:37:00 PM CDT August 17, 2018 in Top Stories
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 86°
5pm 86°
6pm 85°
7pm 84°
8pm 83°