70 Years of Love - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

70 Years of Love

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It's Valentine's day -- a day to celebrate your sweetie -- and Orval and Elaine Benson  of Bismarck have been sweethearts for decades.


They're now in their nineties, and they've walked side by side while raising four children, ten grandchildren, and a growing number of great-grandchildren.

Their story began on February 14th, seventy years ago.

They married in Seattle in 1943 while Orval was stationed at Fort Lewis, about to ship overseas as a paratrooper in World War Two. During their forced separation, he didn't worry much about her... but she sure worried about him.

The Bensons say they just wanted to get married before Orval headed overseas and hadn't given much thought to the date; now, their family loves the idea of celebrating their anniversary on this special day. 

Orval wasn't involved in any fighting in France, but he was involved in several airdrop operations and once broke his ankle; meanwhile, Elaine fought the war at home, working with sheet metal in a California naval yard. 

They say there's no secret to their seventy years of success, and they've never really had any major disagreements.

Orval: "She's always there. If I needed backup."

Elaine: "I make a good boss, don't I?"

Orval: "Yeah."

And, while Orval may not be much of a talker, he's always been a gentleman.

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