Olathe couple married 81 years gets honored with national award

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OLATHE, Kan. -- These days marriages just don't seem to last sometimes, with an estimated half of all marriages ending in divorce. But, that's not the case for an Olathe couple. Dale and Alice Rockey have been married for more than 80 years. 81 to be exact.

Saturday they were honored for winning a national contest. They were named the nation’s longest married couple by Worldwide Marriage Encounter.

The Rockeys’ love story started more than eight decades ago in a small Nebraska town.

"She was sitting on her front porch and I drove by and I said ‘oh let’s stop and talk’ and so I did and we went for a ride," said Dale Rockey.

Just six months later, still teenagers, they were married on December 29, 1933 in the middle of the Great Depression. Thirteen presidents, countless wars and one moon landing later they're still together.

"We started in a '36 Ford. That's the first car we had. Wound up with a 2000 model and there was a lot of them in between," said Dale.

Alice and Dale are now both 99 years old and live at the Good Samaritan Society in Olathe, a skilled nursing facility.

Tom Rockey, who nominated his mom and dad, said his parents have always set an amazing example.

“They're a beautiful couple," he said. "You don't see them together without holding hands."

So, what's the key to a lasting marriage?

"I always let him have my way!” said Alice.

The Rockey's have five sons. All are married to their original spouses. They have 15 grandkids, 28 great-grandkids and six great-great grandchildren.