Living happily ever after through nearly 70 years of marriage - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Living happily ever after through nearly 70 years of marriage

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COTTAGE GROVE (WKOW) -- It's something many people long for: a happy, loving and long marriage with your best friend. It's something a Cottage Grove couple has actually lived for nearly 70 years. 

"Oh, I love him," said 87 year old Janet Anacker as she looked up and smiled at her 90 year old husband Norm. 

"I wouldn't want to be without her," Norm said back. 

You can feel the love they have for one another as soon as you step into their charming senior apartment in Cottage Grove. Perhaps it's the way they talk to one another, or help each other with the little things. You can certainly feel their passion for one another when you see their eyes locking, followed by a subtle smile. 

"We've been together all these years," Janet said. "We've done lots of things together!"

Their life in matrimony spans nearly seven decades. Take a moment to take that in. Some people barely live to reach 70, yet this sweet couple has been by each other's sides for nearly that long. 

"This year it'll be 68," said Norm, to be exact. "It's wonderful," Janet said right after. 

The flirting began in the late 1940s with, a then, young Norm asking a gutsy question at the old Turner Hall in Madison.

"He came up and asked me to dance," Janet said smiling as she remembered the day. 

"She was in the back hallway with her old boyfriends," said Norm, who then cracked up laughing. 

The reality was, Janet didn't know how to Waltz. It was Norm's favorite dance, but Janet's expertise was in tap dancing. 

"Well, she says, I'm not an old time dancer but I'll try," remembered Norm. 

"So I dragged her out onto the floor. It's first couple and center and there you divide, the ladies go right and the gents the other side. There goes your partner and order the same and take your corner lady and waltz promenade," Norm sang aloud. "You go all the way around the square that way."

That dance twirled into a lifelong partnership on and off the dance floor. Norm eventually got down on one knee and wedding vows soon followed.

They married on June 17, 1950. They would welcome nine children over the years and raised them living a traditional Wisconsin farm life.

"We didn't think about going out, doing this or that by ourselves. We did everything together. We raised our kids and our family and we didn't do anything separately," Janet explained. 

But health scares nearly separated them for good. 

"It was two different times in health things that they didn't think I was going to live," said Janet. 

"We're both lucky," said Norm. 

Janet had quadruple bypass surgery and Norm's epilepsy triggered a sever seizure that nearly killed him. 

"I was praying to God, 'No, please don't take him away. We've been together all these years, don't ruin it,'" said Janet as she put her hands together as if she was praying. 

Thankfully both survived their near death experiences and the love birds are still going strong. 

They sing often in with other residents in their apartment complex. And yes, they still hug and kiss. 

"Well, we ain't go no teeth," said Norm as they tried kissing on their couch. "There, we made it," Janet said after they locked lips. 

As for advice, the adoring couple did offer some pointers for others longing for a similar journey.

"You got to give and take," said Norm. 

"You've got to be able to participate in each other, talk to each other and think about what this person wants, what that person wants and think about ok, what can we do together," said Janet. 

And together, as they reminisce each day on their nearly seventy year old marriage, they're humbled knowing their love novel won't end until death do us part. 

"We kind of agreed all of our life that the only separation that we'd want would be if one of us had to die and wait until the other one would die and come with us," she said. 

It's a love so pure: two hearts bound for each other in a story that will live on in the hearts of others. 

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