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Houston, TX

More Than 70 Years of Marriage and Their Love is Still Go...

Everyone loves a good love story around Valentine’s Day, and Bess and Julius Porter have a story that will warm your heart. Bess Porter, 97-year-old Parkway Place resident, and Julius Porter, 99-year-old Parkway Place resident, are about to celebrate 72 years of marriage that all started with a proposal on Valentine’s Day in 1941. The couple met during the Great Depression, made it through three years worth of deployments during World War II and has shared a lifetime of joy that includes raising a son who is now a doctor at Southwest Memorial hospital. “I can still remember when I got my engagement ring on Valentine’s Day. He proposed the old fashioned way and asked my father for permission to marry me,” said Bess Porter. “It was in my home and it was not very romantic. We did not get married for almost two years. Times were hard, and he wanted to make sure that he was able to support me. I think that was one difference between those days and today.” The couple met at a party at church in Washington, D.C. They were in their 20s and it was not love at first site. The relationship developed gradually and allowed Julius time to finish his night classes to complete his college degree. “When we first met, I thought he was the new kid on the block and I should be nice to him,” said Bess. “I never dreamed it would amount to anything, but it did. I think we were meant to be. We like to do the same things, we are comfortable with each other and we get along. Our temperaments are similar, and we know how to give and take which is important.” The couple spent most of their marriage in the Washington D.C. and Virginia area. They made a short stop in Florida and moved to Parkway Place in Houston to be closer to their son during their retirement years. They have enjoyed every stage of life together, and they have fantastic advice for younger love birds. “When we celebrated 70 years of marriage, so many people said, ’70 years, my gracious, it seems many people do not live that long.’ I feel we are very fortunate,” said Bess. “You cannot go into a marriage thinking you can change someone. You have to work at it and be willing to stick it out. We are best friends, and to this day, we do everything together. It has been a happy nearly 72 years, and what more can you ask for?” The staff members at Parkway Place find the Porter’s love story quite inspirational. After all, not many people can boast more than 70 years of marriage. “When I think about the Porters and other longtime married couples at Parkway Place, it makes me smile,” said Jimmy Johnson, executive director of Parkway Place. “We can all learn from their commitment, and it is nice to get words of wisdom from them and the other residents.”  (Jan 30, 2013 | post #1)