NICEVILLE, Fla. (WKRG) — Valentine’s Day was this week, but you might say every day is Valentine’s Day for Bernie and Kay Regan. He’s 99. She’s 93. They live in the American House Senior Living Community in Niceville, FL. The Regans say their love isn’t celebrated just on Valentine’s Day, it’s lived out 365 days a year… for the last 75 years. Surely a marriage that’s lasted that long is filled with romance. Right?
Bernie laughed and said, “Well, I don’t know how to define romance, but I found we were comfortable together.”
In fact, Bernie and Kay declare the last 75 years have taught them there’s more to marriage than hearts and flowers.
“The events in our marriage were not that dynamic, sparkling,” said Bernie.
No, the secret to their long marriage is a mixture of many things. For instance, there’s a commitment to kindness.
Kay said, “We just have good thoughts for each other and tried to help each other. He was strong in his work and he wanted an education, so I took care of the house and the boys so he could go to school and study.” Bernie eventually earned his bachelor’s and master’s, and a law degree.
You also need humor they say. They laugh about the fact that they met at a dance, but that he doesn’t have fancy footwork.
Bernie says with a smile, “She never has been able to teach me to dance!”
Kay responded, “Well, he could do the two-step and we got by!”
They also point to their being selective with their time.
Bernie says, “We just did things together.” She walked with him while he played golf. And they’ve spent many happy times playing bridge.
There’s something else that’s important, said Bernie. “Like everybody else, we’ve had our disagreements, but we’ve agreed to disagree. You know, it’s funny. After a while, you ignore the disagreement and it just goes away.”
Kay learned a lot about “going away” in their early marriage when Bernie would leave to flew WWII combat missions. “I was always glad when he made it home,” she said.
Bernie added, “Someone said, absence makes the heart grow fonder. There was a lot of absence, a year, 18 months, maybe the absence didn’t create a spark, but kept the fire from going out.”
So, there is a little heat here, after all!
When asked if he holds her hand in the movies they like to attend, Kay said “Oh, Yes!”
A couple who’s stood the test of time with “simple flames” that keep the marriage fires burning.
Bernie and Kay’s 75th anniversary was January 4th. If you’d like to leave them a happy anniversary wish, just leave a comment under Drexel’s story on the WKRG Facebook page.