Erle and Virginia Cooper will celebrate 73 years of marriage on Saturday, Aug. 21.
The couple met at Kalama’s junior-senior prom in 1947. At that time, Erle was stationed in Alaska with the U.S. Army and sent Virginia $150 so she could join him. They later got married on Aug. 21, 1948, when Virginia was 17 years old and Erle was 20 years old.
The couple spent their first 40 years together in Alaska. They then moved several times and landed in Toledo, where they have spent the last 14 years together.
The Coopers raised seven children, Dee, David, Sharon, Kathy, Terry, Mark and Donna. They also adopted five children — Michael, Amanda, Amber, Justin and Andy. In addition, they have many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Erle, now 93, and Virginia, now 90, also fostered many children while in Alaska.
Erle said the secret to the longevity of their marriage is for each party to give 60 percent, while only expecting 40 percent from the other party.