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Reb and Wylene Stacey met in grade school in Tennessee and never looked back.
The Williamstown couple has been married for 65 years, but they have known each other even longer.
“We’ve known each other all of our lives,” Wylene said. “We were in grade school and high school together. We danced all through the 40s. You probably couldn’t keep up with us.”
Reb and Wylene began dating in high school shortly before Reb went into military service in 1944.
As big bands made their way to nearby Nashville, the pair never missed a chance to get on the floor and cut a rug.
The Staceys were united in marriage Jan. 30, 1948, by Rev. Perry in the Lewisburg, Tenn. home of Wylene’s mother.
Their first home was in Chapel Hill, Tenn., but they lived with Wylene’s parents for awhile after getting married.
The couple bought land and built a home in Grant County in 1960 and bought their current home on Williamstown Lake in 1963.
They had been living in Cincinnati, but made Grant County their home permanently in 1976.
Six and a half decades of being together has led to three children, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.
“We’ve got a great family,” Wylene said. “The best thing you can do is to keep busy with all your kids. We water ski. We snow ski. We’ve kept them busy and they’ve turned out great.”
The couple’s granddaughter recently made a memory book filled with photos throughout the decades of the happy couple and their children.
Fifty years ago, Wylene and Reb began taking an annual ski trip to northern Michigan with family and friends.
They recently returned from this year’s trip that saw nearly 40 family members enjoy time together in the snow.
The group even has a name, the Whooppees, and Reb and Wylene received a Mr. and Mrs. Whooppee plaque this year.
“It started out as a joke,” Reb said about the group’s name.
The best advice Wylene has for young couple hoping to last is. “When you say ‘I do,’ mean it.”
“Everybody has problems, but solve your problem, look forward and don’t look over your shoulder,” she said.
Reb takes more of a humorous approach to the secret to everlasting love.
“If you know how to box, it helps a lot,” he joked.