Couple secretly elopes, still going steady 72 years later

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Valentines day brings love into the Wiregrass.
 
When you first think of love you imagine young love long walks on Alabama beaches and plenty of adventure.
 
But eventually your hair turns grey and walks gets shorter.
 
After their marriage vows the Askren’s truly became one due to recent disabilities Betty describes it as she’s Lyle’s legs and he is her arms.
 
But the union all started when the couple secretly eloped in the 40’s.
 
72 years of marriage for Betty and Lyle Askren
 
“We were high school sweethearts,” said Betty Askren.
 
Instead of waiting for the guy to make the first move Betty took matters into her own hands.
 
“Why don’t you quit going with that girl and go with me and so I’ll let you know tomorrow,” said Lyle Askren.
 
During the time of World War 2 18-year-old Lyle found himself preparing for unfamiliar grounds, but their love for each other made the next decision an easy one.
 
“Well I hate to tell you this but she proposed to me,” said Lyle Askren.
“And got married privately secretly,” said Betty Askren.
 
What Betty thought was a secret Lyle was already making arrangements to tell her mother.
 
“She could be a little vicious so I kinda told a few people that would tell her,” said Lyle Askren.
“They were very disappointed but I promised them I would go ahead and finish high school,” said Betty Askren.
 
Betty continued her education and even started teaching elementary students for 42 years.
 
Valentine’s Day for her students was giving Valentines card to each other but for her and the love of her life they spent quality time together.
 
“When we were younger we went out to dinner,” said Lyle Askren.
 
But Valentine’s Day now is a little different.
 
“He said it and I didn’t say anything back but I thought I love you honey,” said Betty Askren.
 
According to statistics 50 percent of marriages today will end in divorce so what has the Askrens’ happily married for over 7 decades?
 
“Neither one holds grudges and we truly love our family and we are Christians so it just wasn’t acceptable to divorce and we had no reason to,” said Betty Askren.
“When you love someone you look at them everyday and that satisfies you,” said Lyle Askren.
 
 According to statistics today there’s only a 2 percent chance a high school couple will last.
 
Quite the change from times when getting married after school was more common.
 

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