Cookeville couple married 81 years says communication is key - WKRN News 2

Cookeville couple married 81 years says communication is key

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Lonnie and Jessie Mabrey were married August 11, 1931. Lonnie and Jessie Mabrey were married August 11, 1931.
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -

A Cookeville couple who has been married for just over 81 years says the key to their successful, happy marriage is good communication.

Lonnie and Jessie Mabrey were married in Albany, Kentucky where they couple eloped to on August 11, 1931.  

"It doesn't seem like it could be 81 years, but it is," Jessie told Nashville's News 2.

With more than eight decades of marriage under their belt, the couple said they continue to enjoy spending time together.

"The key secret is to love each other," said Lonnie, adding, "We enjoy each other. That is happiness."

The couple who still live together on their own said they have always made it a point to communicate with each other.

"Buying a farm, buying a car, whatever we were doing throughout life, we talked it over. Neither one of us went out and bought this or bought that. We talked it over before we would do stuff like that," explained Lonnie.

Humor and laughter have also played a big part of their marriage, especially since Jessie has an infectious laugh.

"It is wonderful," said Lonnie. "That is what I like."

When asked how he proposed to his wife, he responded with a laugh and said, "She proposed to me."

However, Jessie quickly set the record straight. She actually made him wait a little while after the proposal before saying yes.

"I said, I will have to study on that a while. I studied on that about a week," she recalled.

Jessie still goes grocery shopping every Wednesday and enjoys cooking and taking care of her small backyard garden.

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