- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

LOGAN, Utah (AP) - H. Ray Gibbons and Amy Scheiss Gibbons of Lewiston have been happily married for 75 years.

The two first met on a blind triple date in Providence when he was 20 and she 18, though they were not originally set up together. H. Ray said he looked at Amy, and knew he had taken the wrong girl out on a date that night.

“I thought maybe I made a mistake,” he said.

Amy, though, on first impression, thought he was very quiet.

“I thought he was kind of snobbish,” she said. “I then found out he wasn’t. He was just quiet.”

After that night, he would call her and ask her to go dancing at a local dance hall or to go see a show, but she always seemed to have plans.

One day, H. Ray asked Amy out to a show in the middle of the week, and she said yes. The more they hung out together, the more they fell in love.

Two years later, in 1941, they were wed at the Logan Temple at the ages of 22 and 20.

“We chased one another for two years,” H. Ray said. “Every year since we were married I found that she had more virtues and smarts and all of those good things. They multiplied over the years.”

After marrying, they continued cultivating their love on a farm in Lewiston, where they have lived since 1942. H. Ray had always wanted to be a farmer, while Amy had never been on a farm before. They raised pigs, cows, sheep and horses. They had 300 laying hens.

“When dad started he had one cow and he bought a bunch of pigs, just as the second World War started,” said Gary Gibbons, the eldest of five sons. “He wanted to be drafted for the military, but he wasn’t taken.”

He was told to raise crops, and that’s what he did.

Seventy-five years later, H. Ray and Amy are still living in a fairy tale. H. Ray, 97, and Amy, 95, happily sit on their couch with family, reminiscing about the time spent together, content with the present.

Their secret to a happy marriage?

“My husband never raised his voice at me,” Amy said. “You can live with someone like that. You learn to love them because they’re kind.”

“It’s been a good marriage,” H. Ray said.

They also had numerous mutual interests: The two of them went fishing together and traveled to every state in the country. They went to Mexico, New Zealand, on a cruise through the Panama Canal, and all over Europe and Israel.

After settling in Lewiston, they had five sons: Gary (Born in Logan), Dennis, Darrel, Wynn and Mark. Amy kept hoping for a daughter, but after each of their sons married, she got five: Debra, Kathy, Karla, LaRae and Shanna.

Now, they enjoy the company of their five sons, five daughters-in-law, their 16 granddaughters, 14 grandsons, 117 great grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. As they sit in their Lewiston home, they continue to find comfort and adventure in each other.

“We just enjoy being together,” Amy said. “We have a wonderful family.”

Another key to their success has been their constant flexibility with each other and others around them, Gary, 74, said.

“They’ve lived a life that’s always been involved in helping other people and that is one of the reasons they’ve lived as long as they have,” he said. “They have great concerns for family, the community, their church, and they’ve always been involved, helping others.”

“They always get along well together,” said Gary’s wife, Debra. “To us, they have never given us advice unless we asked for it, which was always appreciated. They never interfered unless we asked for it. All of the grandkids have really appreciated their example of how they treat one another.”

Surrounded by the happiness of their family and their involvement with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, they admit to having little stress in their lives.

They dedicated their lives to the LDS Church: H. Ray was 30 when he got called to be a bishop. He was also a sealer at the Logan Temple for 17 years and nine months. Amy worked with the young girls at church in Relief Society.

Gary said they have set an example for him and his wife, Debra, but emulating their example is nearly impossible.

“I think all the boys and our wives admire mom and dad for the fact that they’ve always been able to be together and with us,” Gary said.

The whole family enjoyed camping. Every summer for 20 years until the boys left the house they would drive to Yellowstone National Park, pitch a tent, go fishing and sing songs together.

“So many good memories,” H. Ray said.

Seventy-five years later, Amy’s biggest concern is being there for H. Ray, who has heart disease, but a heart of gold. H. Ray’s biggest concern is always being there for Amy.

“They say, ‘I wish we would be able to be together until we could just go,’” Gary said. “They’re doing well at home. Most of the time they’re taking care of themselves without problems. They still wish they could drive. Other than that, they have a very strong attraction to each other.”

___

Information from: The Herald Journal, https://www.hjnews.com


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