Brookdale Couple Celebrates 70 Years of Marriage

But to truly know why these two have such a strong, sustained relationship, let's start from the beginning before John and Gloria were Mr. and Mrs. Orr. 

Getting to Know Each Other

John Orr was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and has been a dedicated resident of the city for over 94 years, while his wife, Gloria Orr, was born in Fortson, Georgia. 

The pair didn't meet until 1951, when John took Gloria's sister, Barbara, and her mother to attend the Ms. North Carolina beauty pageant. Afterward, John actually approached Barbara to request a date, but since she was already going steady with another man, she suggested that John take her sister, Gloria, instead.

And since that day on, John and Gloria have been inseparable. 

Married Life

Mr. and Mrs. Orr dated for about three months, often going on dates to the movies since Barbara's father worked in the theater business, and they could usually get in for free. 

When asked about when they realized they "found the one," John jokingly responded that "[they] still haven't decided yet," as Gloria smiled and chuckled in the background.

Rather than a traditional proposal of getting down on one knee, they avoided the typical theatrics and "made the decision together to get married," Gloria says. 

From then on, John and Gloria enjoyed married life in Asheville, where John worked in the automobile industry at America Motors. They went on to have two kids and now have two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Sticking Together

The couple attributes much of their successful marriage to simply enjoying many of the same things together. Mr. and Mrs. Orr often used to play golf together and would travel when they could.

"[John] is so easy to get along with," says Gloria. "When we have a problem arise, we’re willing to work through it and stay together."

One piece of advice offered to others looking to have a successful marriage: "Be sure you love him, and more importantly, be sure he loves you," Gloria says.

"The whole world is living for love, and it's the best thing when you find it," John says. "And you don't even have to be looking for it. It just happens. That's the best part of it," adds Gloria.

Want to read more inspiring senior stories? Check out this Brookdale resident who has a talent for bringing his photographs to life with his paintings.

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