Couple Celebrates 74 Valentine’s Days Together
Ernest and Betty Share Some Love Advice
One couple in Duluth is celebrating a bit of a anniversary this Valentine’s Day, because it was 74 Valentines ago that their love story began.
Seventy-four years ago a certain guy caught a young, bright-eyed Betty Petersen’s eye. Even then, she says she knew he was ‘the one.’
“He had lots of other girls looking at him, but I knew he was the one for me,” said Betty.
That guy was a young Ernest Petersen, wowing everyone with his roller skating moves, as he waited for his orders after getting drafted into WWII.
“Come Valentine’s Day, I decided I would send him a funny valentine, anonymously,” said Betty.
“As soon as I got that valentine, I had to go find out where it was from and find her,” said Ernest Petersen. “When I found her, I decided, ‘This is the one.’”
“I met him at the roller rink, he offered me a ride home and we’ve been together ever since,” said Betty.
After Betty graduated high school they got engaged, but WWII would keep them apart.
Ernest joined the Navy, working in the Seabees.
“He tore a two dollar bill in half, and said ‘Don’t marry anybody who doesn’t have the other half of this.’”
“We used that, and another 50 cents to buy a marriage license,” said Ernest.
When he came home, they married in 1946, and faced a lot of obstacles.
“We were very poor, I guess we didn’t know it. We were happy,” said Betty.
Obstacles that the Petersen’s say made their marriage stronger.
“It made us stick together, we had to work together,” said Ernest.”
After six kids and travels all over the world, their advice to a happy, long marriage is communication, respect, commitment and affection.
“Cuddling. Everyday, absolutely. Always a good morning and a good night kiss. And a good hug if you pass each other in the hall or something,” said Betty.
Seventy-four Valentines Day’s later, they’re still keeping the fire burning in their own way.
“He bought me a cute plant, and got me this necklace. I gave him a package of socks that’s love too,” said Betty.