KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Adolph and Lucy Velasquez sealed their love July 17, 1942.
“I just feel like from day to day, I just kind of fell in love with her,” Adolph said.
Surrounded by their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, the couple shared memories and kisses they’ve given one another for 80 years at their celebration Sunday.
“Her family moved next door to our family. From then on, we just got to seeing each other, and then we started going together," Adolph said. "Before you know, it didn’t take long before we fell in love. Just went ahead and got married.”
The couple married in 1942 and had five beautiful children, including their oldest daughter who passed away.
Their son David Velasquez says growing up he watched his parents work hard in their careers, and the love and pride he has for his “mom and pop” brings him to tears.
“It’s just always been great, always been great parents," David said. "I know my brother and sister feel the same way I do. It’s been a blessing, and my prayers and their prayers, every night, every morning, for one of the greatest gifts they’ve given me, is the love of my mother and father."
Growing up, David says he loved his parents so much he couldn’t fathom the thought of losing them.
“As a young kid lying in bed scared that they would be gone, and I had tears in my eyes thinking I’ve gotta go before they go,” he said. ” Oh boy, mom and pop, they are our lives.”
Lucy and Adolph's grandchildren and great-grandchildren share David's admiration along with a host of fond memories.
“The thing I love most about grandma is that I can share ice cream or cake with her. She has the biggest sweet tooth ever. I mean, if she could, she would eat candy all day,” said Bridgette Velasquez, Adolph and Lucy’s youngest granddaughter.
Erica Macias, another granddaughter of the couple, helps take care of her grandparents. She respects how religion has remained central to their lives even in old age.
“Coming over and actually helping my siblings take care of grandpa and grandma, sometimes more grandma than grandpa. When I’m over here talking to my aunt or whatever, every single time he says a prayer," Macias said.
The couple has shared many laughs over the years in their current home, which they own and have lived in for 60 years. Now 94 and 97 years old, Adolph still remembers the reason he fell in love.
“Well, her good looks, I guess,” he joked.
Throughout eight decades, the couple recalls good times dancing, and activity they loved to do, along with the tough times they faced while Adolph served in World War II.
David says his parents sent love letters while Adolph was overseas. And while she was missing her husband, Lucy wore a ring engraved with his face, a ring the 94-year-old still wears to this day.
The couple's love continues to inspire family and friends, including their daughter-in-law Helen Velasquez.
“Every morning my father-in-law will come in (Lucy’s bedroom), and he will lean over to give my mother-in-law a kiss and ask us if she is okay," Helen said. "We will tell him, 'Yep, we are taking care of her.' It’s just a blessing for them at this age to still be in their own home. That’s how we will always try to keep them here together.”
Eighty years after saying "I do," the couple continues to choose one another for better and for worse.
“You have to get along with each other and compromise with each other, and that's all I can say,” Adolph said.