Bend couple celebrates their 59th Valentine's Day

Loving pair offer tips to couples just starting out

Bend couple marks their 59th Valentine's Day

BEND, Ore. - It's a day based around love, romance and chocolate. A day when couples are supposed to tell each other how much they mean to one another. For one Bend couple, this is their 59th Valentine's Day together.

Lloyd Cook met Ruth in February of 1953 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during a trip to see his brother.

"I found out he was at church so it was on a Wednesday, so I went over there," said Lloyd. "There's a whole group of young people that kind of hung out together, and Ruth was one of them."

The two became friends, but in June, Lloyd left for a few months to work in Alaska. It wasn't until that fall, when Lloyd returned home, that their romance blossomed.

"About the middle of October, I took Ruth home one night. I just gave her a ride," said Lloyd. "From then on, we started dating."

It only took about a month for the two to realize they were meant for one another, and Lloyd popped the question.

"Well, he was washing my hair, and all of a sudden he asked me to marry him," said Ruth. "Of course, I was in love with him, so I said yes."

Llyod and Ruth tied the knot in December of that year at a beautiful Milwaukee church, surrounded by about 100 of their closest friends and family. Both of them say they'll never forget the feeling they had on their big day.

Two years later, their family began to grow, and it continued to do so in the ensuing years. Ruth and Lloyd are parents to five children, three boys and two girls -- and now several grandchildren, and even a few great-grandchildren.

But even with the stresses of life and kids, Ruth and Lloyd say they have gotten along through it all.

"We've had some disagreements, but we haven't really had any really serious fights," said Ruth. "We've got along pretty good most of the time."

The two have even held the same jobs through their 59 years of marriage. Farming together, parenting together and managing hotels together, the two hardly left each others sides, and the same is true today.

"Yes, that's what we are. Not only lovers, but friends," said Ruth.

The best friends will celebrate their 60th anniversary this December.

"I think we're going to go to someplace down in Mexico -- our kids want to go," said Lloyd.

Still happy and in love after six decades of marriage, the couple offered advice for those just starting out.

"You work at it, for one thing," said Ruth. "You have to be committed at the beginning. Don't go into it thinking, 'If it doesn't work, I can get out.' You have to decide you're going to make it."

And make it they have. With many more days ahead of them, the two have another 60 years to look forward to.

Love has helped the Cooks overcome many of life's hurdles. Three years ago, Lloyd became partially paralyzed after a benign tumor wrapped around his spine. He says with the help of St. Charles therapists, and the support of his wife and family, he was back up walking a year and a half later.

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