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You are here: Home Community Lifestyle What’s the key to 70 years of marriage? Just ask this couple.

What’s the key to 70 years of marriage? Just ask this couple.

After seven decades of marriage, family and most importantly, love, the Morrises wouldn’t change a thing.

Dec. 12 is a very special day for Keith and Mary Morris who were married 70 years ago today in 1942 in Halifax County at an area preacher’s house.

“It’s been a lot of give and take, but you look at your mistakes, and you go on,” said Mary.

Only 19 at the time she said “I do,” and her husband, Keith, only 21, the couple has seen many changes together, endured war times and reared a family.

According to Mary, it doesn’t seem like 70 years at all. 

“Time passes by so fast,” she added.

Soon after they were married, Keith went into service serving during World War II, and Mary returned home with her parents pregnant with their first child.

According to Mary, the pair grew up together, attending school, church and becoming friends along the way.

“It was his personality. I wanted to be with him because of his personality,” said Mary.

Admittedly, she said she stays with him to this day because of his personality.

“And I loved him, I still do,” she added.

They gave a try at farming tobacco in their first years of marriage before they both gave that up to go work in the public. Both took jobs at Burlington Mills where Keith would later retire.

Traveling all over the East Coast, Mary said her favorite memories with her husband were made while traveling. Although they don’t get to do it as much now, they both still enjoy going out to eat together. Some of their favorite spots include steakhouses like Chub Lake and Homestead.

Children Ernest, Linda and Wayne are equally as happy for their parents.

“I think it’s amazing. It definitely makes it easier when parents stay together and work together,” said Wayne.

“I think it has made a good example,” said Linda.

Although she can’t remember what she wore or what movie they saw, Mary can still remember their first date was to a drive-in movie.

“He was the only guy I ever dated. He’s been the only one,” said Mary.

Not taking the traditional route, Keith proposed to Mary without asking her father for permission. And without hesitation, she said yes.

“He gave me a ring, and I still have it,” said Mary. 

However, it hasn’t always been roses through the years.

Mary, with a grin on her face, said her husband would frustrate her when he wouldn’t take out the trash or forget all the little things she asked him to do.

Keith said his wife only made him mad a time or two when dinner wasn’t ready on the table when he got home.

“And that didn’t happen often,” said Wayne.

The two also didn’t always agree on how to discipline the children. 

“I always felt he was too hard on them,” said Mary.

Through the years, the couple has seen so many changes including cars and wardrobe.

“It was no such thing as pants back then. All the women wore dresses. Everything has changed,” said Mary.

Relationships also have changed.

“Youngsters these days don’t last as long (relationships) because they all want their own way,” said Mary.

The key to their 70 years — compromise.

“You have to listen to each other,” said Mary.

Twenty years ago the Morris’ celebrated their 50th anniversary at Black Walnut Baptist Church. This past weekend the Morris’ and their family traveled to Homestead for the weekend to celebrate the couple’s 70 years of marriage.

When asked what their advice to couples these days would be, Mary responded, “Listen and try to make the right decisions and get along. Be patient with each other.”

The couple both agreed it has been a happy 70 years together.

“It’s been some tough times. But we always had food, shelter and clothing. It’s been a good 70 years for them both, I’m sure,” said Wayne.

“I wouldn’t change a thing…I’d do 70 more, God willing. We’ve been blessed,” Mary concluded.

The couple has three children, Linda Green, Ernest Morris and Keith Wayne Morris; three grandkids, Donna Hall, Keith Wayne Morris Jr., Jeffrey Morris; and eight great-grandchildren, Amber Clark, Destiney Hall, Hayley Morris, Savannah Morris, Kayleigh Morris, Kendra Morris, Kolby Morris and Keegan Morris. 

Keith and Mary Morris reside in South Boston.