FORT COLLINS, Colo. – If you’re looking for inspiration in love, look no further than Emil and Elizabeth Siefken.
Their story goes back all the way to 1942, when Emil, a Nebraska native, headed west to Colorado to pick peaches.
It was there where he met – and fell in love with – Elizabeth “Betty” Frogue.
But it was Betty who ended up being the “best peach” he picked up in the Centennial State, according to Emil.
Their relationship withstood the long-distance test, their courtship being built on “three-cent stamps and calls on a party line.”
The couple eventually wed in Nebraska two years later, on April 14, 1944, and they eventually settled and made a life for themselves in Fort Collins.
The couple raised three children while Emil owned an insurance agency and Betty worked as an executive secretary for Colorado State University.
“We had a good life, we were pretty happy,” Emil told staff at Brookdale Senior Living, where the couple now resides.
Staff at Brookdale Senior Living in Fort Collins say Betty is living with dementia and was transitioned into memory care, but that doesn’t stop her devoted husband from sending her flowers and visiting her every single day.
“We sit and hold hands and talk,” said Emil. ““She is the most wonderful person in the world. She’s beautiful inside and out, what you see is what you get.”
The senior living facility recently hosted a birthday party for Betty’s 95th birthday and at the party, the couple was surprised with a recognition for being the Colorado winners of the Longest Married Couple Project, a contest sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter.
Their daughter, Peggy, nominated them for their 73 years of marriage.
So what’s the secret to a lifelong and happy marriage?
“You just have to realize you can’t be right all the time. You have to treat the person you love like you want to be treated,” Emil said.