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Secret to 71 year marriage: ‘Laugh a lot, ignore a lot’

by Peter Weinberger

Gloria and Frederick Williams know a thing or two about celebrating wedding anniversaries. At the tender ages of 97 (Frederick) and 95, the couple marked their 71st on August 25 along Williams Avenue in Claremont.

But after so many years of eating cake, the lucky couple wanted to spend time with not only family and friends, but also their neighbors. So, on a warm evening the Williams sat out on their driveway connecting with neighbors passing by. Some brought cards and flowers, others whizzed by honking and yelling.

The couple first met in Cleveland at a New Years Eve party in 1951. Frederick did not hesitate to mention it was love at first sight. Considering they married eight months later, the same could be said for Gloria. When they were first married, Fredrick worked as a truck driver, but spent most of his career working for Pacific Bell. Gloria was a stay-at-home mom, but also worked as the head cook at a local elementary school. Their daughter Lorelei Rimpau remembers going on camping trips to Arizona with the family that also included her brother David. “We would pack as much camping in two-weeks as possible before coming home,” she said.

It wasn’t until about five years ago that Gloria and Frederick moved to Claremont with Lorelei and her husband, John.

What kind of advice would the couple give newly married couples?

Frederick says it’s senseless to argue about every little thing. Gloria immediately said, “Laugh a lot, ignore a lot.”

Lorelei and Gloria also agreed they had an arrangement that worked well for the couple over the years. “Dad made all the big decisions, and she made the little ones. Luckily, he never had to make a big one.” The entire family then broke into laughter. Good times.

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