Local couple celebrates 70th wedding anniversary
When you see Joe and Cecilia “Rue” Monesmith, you would not think of them being as old as they are.
They take walks, dine out regularly and enjoy the autumn of their years as much as anyone.
So it would come as a shock that Joe, 90, and Rue, 86, who live in Pioneer Village, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last Wednesday.
But while those long walks and active lifestyle has had something to do with it, it also takes a great commitment and love to make it that long.
“I think we were born married, we’ve been together so long,” Joe laughed.
Joe met Rue in Texas, where he and a friend joined the Army Air Corps during World War II.
“We met in Odessa. A friend of mine introduced me to her at church,” Joe said.”It didn’t take us long, we fell in love and wanted to be together all the time, and we said the word to each other and we’re still doing it.”
About six months later, on July 31, 1943, they were married at that Methodist church.
From there, Joe went overseas to become a flight engineer on B-29s and flew over Japan 35 times to drop bombs.
“I had my oldest baby during the time he was at war. It was kind of tough but he was always active,” Rue said. “He got the Distinguished Flying Cross.”
After the war, Joe got his private pilot license to fly before moving his family to New Jersey to go into air conditioning and refrigeration. He became a steamfitter before retiring in 1978.
Meanwhile, Rue stayed home to care for her two sons, Joe, 67, and Fred, 65, who have both been married more than 30 years themselves. They have produced eight grandkids and eight great-grandkids.
After her kids were grown, she went to college and earned a degree in art and later her real estate license.
After bringing their motor home down to the area for five years, they moved to Southwest Florida permanently in November 1999.
Joe said one of the secrets is realizing that one plus one equals one when it comes to a marriage. Rue said it’s about showing your love and communicating.
“We’ve always been happy and very much in love. We walk holding hands and really care for each other,” Rue said. “We’ve always been able to talk to each other and discuss things when we’re upset.”
But another big key, besides the boxing gloves Rue claims to use in her living room, is the active lifestyle they live.
“We walk every day. We eat out three or four times a week. We make the most of every day. Every day is a premium when you get to be our age,” Rue said. “The days go by quickly when you’re happy.”
Joe won a silver medal in the weight throw for his age class at the World Master Athletics Championship in Sacremento, Calif. in 2011, and was an All-American in the shot put, discus and javelin.
The sons remain a key part of their lives. Last year, the sons chipped in to send their parents and families on a cruise.
Every day is a sacred one for the Monesmiths, who feel blessed with each day they get to spend with family and friends.
“We have a lot of friends here in the park. When you reach our age you don’t have too much trouble,” Rue said. “We’ve led a simple life, but we’ve had a good one. We’ve had a great 90 years, believe me.”