CROPWELL, Ala. (WIAT) — Wednesday marks 60 years of marriage for high school sweethearts Mary and Robert Mitchell.
The couple met at Lincoln High School in the 1950s. They have a unique, charismatic relationship characterized by honesty and laughter.
“The first date, I said I will never go out with him again,” Mary Mitchell told CBS 42 as she laughed. “He just wasn’t my type I didn’t think. But he just pursued me and I guess — my friends encouraged it — you know, ‘He’ll be a good guy, he’ll be a good husband.'”
Robert Mitchell responded: “Your friend knew better than you did.”
Mary returned Robert’s first engagement ring after initially accepting but accepted his second proposal.
“We tried to run away and get married — we got caught,” Mary said. “So we just told our parents, ‘Well if you don’t give us permission, we’re just going to run away and not get caught.'”
They couple finally tied the knot on May 22, 1959 when Mary was only 16 and Robert was only 17.
For 37 years, Mary supported Robert’s traveling career in the railroad business. They now live on Lake Logan Martin, but told CBS 42 their relationship hasn’t always been smooth sailing.
The couple has faced financial and health struggles together; however, they have also raised two loving children and welcomed five grandchildren into the world.
So — what is their advice to future generations of lovebirds?
“Take your time — get your education — and if you get married it’s going to be the good with the bad,” Mary said. “Don’t rush to a divorce lawyer. Work things out. It’s a lot easier to get married than it is to get a divorce.”