Missouri couple celebrates 76 years of marriage

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) - It's a love story that dates back about eight decades, but a day they remember as if it was yesterday.

On July 10, 1948, Donald and Shirley Hartig tied the knot.

"It was close to 100 that day wasn't it?" Shirley Hartig asked her husband.

"What?" he replied.

"It was close to 100 that day wasn't it?" she repeated.

"Oh yeah," he said.

Both born and raised in Wyandotte County, Kansas, they were 18 and 21 when they met through friends.

"We were together about three and a half to four years before we got married, and I had to wait until she got through with school," Donald Hartig said.

And the rest, well, just hear it for yourself.

"Some of our friends said, 'We'll give you three years. This is not going to work,' and they're all dead now, so can't prove anything," Shirley Hartig said.

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Seventy-six years later, the Hartigs' love has only grown. They have four children, 10 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren with one on the way and two great-great-grandchildren.

"We didn't intend to populate the Earth," Shirley Hartig joked.

They still remember what they love most about each other.

"She's real easy to get along with, and we really haven't had any trouble in all these years," Donald Hartig said.

Through life's challenges, health issues and growing pains, they never left each other's sides -- unless it was to give some space during a disagreement. That's just part of their secret to lasting love.

"People don't know what love is anymore. Love is wanting something for the other person more than you want it for yourself," Shirley Hartig said. "Always put the other person first."

Now at 94 and 97 years young, these two love birds say it really is "'till death do us part."

"Somebody's going to have to give ... 'cause you can't live forever," Shirley Hartig said.

The couple celebrated their wedding anniversary Wednesday with a family dinner at a loved one's home, which is better than a restaurant, according to Donald Hartig.

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