Betty Jo and Charles Berry of DeQuincy will celebrate Charles’ 90th birthday today, as well as their 62nd
Valentine’s Day as husband and wife. ( Rick Hickman / Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Friday, February 14, 2014 10:49 AM
DeQuincy native Betty Jo Berry said she started dating Charles after he brought her a bottle of perfume to her 16th birthday party. That was in 1949.
“Of course my parents were not happy about me going with a 25-year-old man at 16,” she said. “But it’s not illegal if you just date.”
They tied the knot two years later. And after 62 years of marriage, Charles said he’s lost a lot of his hair but couldn’t be happier to spend another Valentine’s Day with the love of his life.
“It has been an adventure,” Betty Jo said. “We do everything together.”
The couple has a lot planned for Valentine’s Day, which is also Charles’s 90th birthday. They’ll spend it with their three children, nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
The family is throwing Charles a birthday party chock-full of surprises — like the banner they had printed for him, which is hiding in the front bedroom.
“Now you’re not allowed to go in there,” she told him.
Charles said that if he wants to do something nice for Betty Jo, he’ll fold all the clothes and wash all the pots.
“He used to buy me flowers for Valentine’s Day, but when they got to be $50 a dozen I told him to quit,” she said.
The two have definitely witnessed a lot of change together over the years.“Back then, we didn’t know a thing about aluminum foil or paper towels or smartphones or computers,” she said. “We didn’t even have a car when we got married for probably a year.”
She said the key to a successful marriage is loving one another through the good and the bad, but most importantly, being active in the church.
“Having God in the marriage is very important,” she said. “A lot of prayer goes into getting through the hard times.”
Charles had triple bypass surgery in 1996 but said he’s still active even with her help.
“I put his socks on for him if he needs me to, and I fix his meals,” she said. “I make him butter cakes all the time, and I sort his medicine for him, but he does pretty well to be 90.”
Charles joked that he married Betty Jo because he wanted a wife he could raise.
“But it didn’t work out like that,” he said. “She has raised me.”
Posted By: Laurie On: 2/15/2014
Title: Happy Valentine's Day!!!
What a wonderful heartwarming story!! Such sweet people! It made me cry. It is true. Every relationship needs God to work!
Posted By: Tony Clark On: 2/14/2014
Title: Happy Valentines!
Two very GENUINE people. Wishing you the best.
Posted By: Flora Stringer On: 2/14/2014
Title: Berrys celebrating 62 years of marriage
Wonderful Valentine's day story. You did such a good job, Lance.