"She's my best friend," 92-year-old Joe Duteil Jr., said of his wife 89-year-old Shirley. "We've had a very good life."
The pair, originally from New Orleans, now reside together at Dunbar Village in Bay St. Louis.
The Duteils celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary on June 10.
Joe and Shirley met in the late 1940s, after Joe completed his service in the U.S. Army Signal Corp.
He was drafted in 1944, when he was 18 years old.
"I was a telephone line man," he said. "I was stationed in France as a lineman on long distance wires. However, the Germans would send spies to cut the wires as fast we put them up. You kept looking over your shoulder."
Joe received two battle stars for the Battle of the Bulge and African Campaign.
When the war ended, Joe was sent to Vienna for the Army of Occupation, a rebuilding of Germany and France, he said.
In 1946, Joe returned home to New Orleans, where he met and fell in love with Shirley.
Shirley graduated from St. Joseph's Academy in 1945. After, she attended a business school where she learned shorthand and typing. For a couple of years, Shirley worked as the secretary for Metairie Cemetery. Then she secured employment with Public Service.
Joe and Shirley met in 1947 through mutual friends.
A friend organized a group and Shirley was in the group, Joe said.
"I was looking for an older man," she said.
"I guess I was hooked," Joe said.
"It must have been my looks," Shirley said with a smile.
Joe said they went "steady" for at least a year-and-a-half before he saved enough to buy her a ring.
"She came to my parents' house for dinner and I went back to my room, got the ring and gave it to her," Joe said.
That was on Christmas Day.
"He got the engagement ring on Christmas because he was cheap and wouldn't have to get me presents," Shirley said playfully.
The pair married in 1950. Joe was attending Loyola University and he said Shirley worked so could attend school at night.
She worked until she became pregnant with the couple's first daughter Gail.
"They were very strict back then and didn't want women showing at work," she said. "They had to let me go."
After Joe graduated, he said, he worked for the school board for 16 years.
The couple also had another daughter, Dana, who has passed away.
After their daughters started college, Shirley went back to work as a secretary with the school board.
Joe retired from the school board on a Friday at age 47. That following Monday, Joe began a 20-year stint at Westside Transit.
When Joe retired again at age 67, the couple moved to Bay St. Louis, where they volunteered at the Mississippi Welcome Center and the library during tax season.
After Hurricane Katrina took their home, Joe and Shirley moved to Mobile, Alabama for about five years.
Upon their return to Bay St. Louis, they lived in a condo on Second Street. After about four years there, Joe fell and broke his back.
He went to Dunbar Village for rehabilitation and physical therapy and decided to stay.
"He said he wasn't going to stay unless I did," Shirley said. "So I said, 'okay.'''
Throughout the years, Shirley jokingly said she and Joe have only divorced each other four times, which was during their drives to Alaska to visit daughter Gail.
Joe said he and Shirley traveled a lot during the years.
"You get used to people after staying with them for a long time," he said. "She's a good companion."
Shirley said their life together has been great.
"He's very understanding and doesn't blow his stack like I do," she said. "He lets me. I always keep him on his toes."