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‘The true secret is love’: Salem couple celebrates 70th wedding anniversary

A celebration long time in the making: the story of a couple married 70 years, their five children, and everyone who came after.

“I knew this was the girl I wanted for Eternity,” Tom LeNeave said.

Both Tom and Toni LeNeave are now in their late 80s.

The two met in their younger years when they lived across the street from one another. Tom said he noticed Toni when she would practice tap dancing on the front porch

It didn’t take him long to realize that she was the one.

“After you sleep on the couch two or three nights you start thinking Momma may be right on this one,” Tom said.

The relationship continued to blossom when they married as teens.

Salem couple celebrates 70th anniversary

Salem couple celebrates 70th anniversary

On Friday night, Tom and Toni’s family from all across the country came out to celebrate their great accomplishment.

Each guest wore a t-shirt to denote the order in which they came into their family. From 1 to 103 and everything in between.

“Every single night my dad prays for all his children and his grandchildren and he names someone by one there’s 103 right now in the family,” Debra Farnsworth, the couple’s daughter said. “He starts out with the very first one and he goes all the way to the last one.″

The 103 members of the family – a result of decades of matrimonial harmony.

Salem couple celebrates 70 years of love with 103 family members

Salem couple celebrates 70 years of love with 103 family members

We asked Toni what the secret to their happy, long-lasting marriage is. Her answer? Love. Neverending love.

“The true secret is love. To love one another, and from the very beginning when we dated, we loved one another, and we’ve always loved one another,” Toni said.

But like all couples, not all times were sunshine and rainbows.

“Does that mean we don’t have any disagreements? We are a lot different, really,” Toni said.

Yet somehow, they made it all work much to the delight of each other – and 103 other very lucky people.

Slideshow snapshot from 70th wedding anniversary celebration in Salem

Slideshow snapshot from 70th wedding anniversary celebration in Salem


Source: WSLS News 10

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