Seventy-one years ago today, Lawrence and Margie (Chandler) Robertson were celebrating their wedding day.
The two moved to their home on Chestnut Street in Carthage in July 1946, and are still there to this day enjoying each other's company – “absolutely” still in love. Lawrence, 91, and his bride, Margie, 86, said those were different times then.
“When we got married we didn't think you could get out of it,” Lawrence said, sparking some laughter from those listening. “We come from families that were traditional … they stayed together.”
The Robertsons have known each other since pre-teen days. He grew up in La Russell and she just across Spring River. They are both graduates of Sarcoxie High School.
Lawrence served his country in the Signal communications in the U.S. Army during WWII. He intercepted Japanese radio communications and broke down messages. He was stationed in Guadalcanal, New Guinea and the Philippines in a 22-month overseas service.
“Is that all?” Margie said, “seemed like a lot longer than that.”
Margie worked for the Carthage R-9 School District in food service at Hawthorn School for 30 years. Ironically, her daughter, Barbara, took over for her when she retired about 25 years ago. Barb moved on to Steadley Elementary School when the Hawthorn location closed about 20 years ago.
“That 'Mrs. Robertson' sign didn't have to change,” Barb said with a big smile.
When Lawrence returned home, he was a Carthage postman. He retired in 1978 after 30 years of service, with his four years of service with the U.S. Army on top of that. For a little over a year, Lawrence worked in housekeeping and purchasing for McCune-Brooks Hospital; then spent some time as a custodian for Fairview Elementary School.
“I really enjoyed that work,” Lawrence said, “particularly at Fairview.”
The Robertsons have truly enjoyed retirement and took advantage of the opportunity to travel. They've been to Germany, England, Austria, South Korea (including an adventure to the DMZ border during a more peaceful time) Hong Kong and two hours in Tokyo. They agreed their favorite trip was to Austria, but Margie said she thoroughly enjoys the beach in Panama City, Fla.
Their last trip to Florida was in 2007 – they drove 900 miles together without any troubles.
“We've had a great retirement,” Lawrence said.
As much as the Robertsons have enjoyed life itself – their true pleasure, pride and triumph is found in their family. As a grin emerged, Lawrence said he remembers those early years.
“The family started coming along and the rest is history,” he said.
Lawrence and Margie had four children, then the family grew to three grandchildren, then five great-grandchildren came along – and now they have one great-great-granddaughter who is five.
Page 2 of 2 - “And they're all great,” Lawrence said.
The Robertsons admit their great-great-granddaughter has them wrapped around her little finger.
“She comes over often – and tells me what to do,” Margie said.
The happy couple say there's not a bum in the lot when it comes to their family.
“Nobody is more proud of our family than we are,” Lawrence said. “We don't go around bragging about it but they're all fantastic families. We're real happy with them all … We find ourselves having lived in Carthage all this time, in the same house, and very, very happy … We haven't tried to make names for ourselves – Living here is what we do.”