PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

February 5, 2014

Half-century couples

Walgreens fetes the long married

PORT ARTHUR — It was the first day of his junior year at High Island High School, and “Tuffy” Nelson knew he was smitten.

“I went home and told my mom, ‘I’ve found your daughter-in-law,’” Tuffy Nelson, a Silsbee native, said.

He was referring to his wife, Lorine, whom he would marry a short time later on Dec. 14, 1941 — exactly one week after her 18th birthday.

And 72 years after exchanging vows, the Nelsons were honored as the longest-married lovebirds at Walgreens’ annual Valentine’s Day Party, held at the OCAW building, 1500 Jefferson Drive, on Tuesday.

“I thought she was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen,” Tuffy Nelson said, beaming at his bride. “I still do.”

The Nelsons were among 86 couples who attended the event, which area Walgreens stores have held for more than 35 years to celebrate couples who have been married for at least 50 years.

“The reason has remained the same — to show the true meaning of Valentine’s Day,” Danae Gaspard, store manager at the Port Neches location on Nall Street, said. “These couples have the secret to success.”

The event is a social one, Gaspard said, where couples can sit and chat with friends over cake and punch. The party is also a favorite of local Walgreens employees.

“It’s the one event of the year we all look forward to,” she said.

It was the second consecutive year for Tuffy and Lorine Nelson to attend, and the second consecutive year they were crowned longest-married couple.

Both 90, the Nelsons live in the same Nederland home they relocated to in March 1946. They have two sons — one of whom recently followed his parents’ example by celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary.

Tuffy and Lorine spend most of their days in tandem — grocery shopping together and watching television together. However, they differ on the secret to longevity in a marriage.

“Do what she says,” Tuffy Nelson said, chuckling.

Lorine Nelson smiled, then said that she and her husband took their vows seriously.

“We’re from the old school,” she said. “We got married knowing we’d be together forever.”

Divorce has never been an option in their household, Lorine Nelson said.

“I’ve thought about murdering him 1,000 times,” she joked, “but I’ve never once thought about divorcing him.”

“You just let the Lord have his way,” Tuffy Nelson added.

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA

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