Photo Essay

Faces: More than half a century of love

Married over 50 years: Francis and Mariln

Six couples talk about being married for the long haul and shed a little advice.

• Francis and Mariln Hillard got married on Feb. 27, 1954 in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania. The Jackson Street Couple, said the road of marriage was sometimes bumpy, but faith in god, was their answer to longevity.

• On January 24, 1942 Beula and Bob Frame started their journey to becoming an old married couple, getting married at St. Peters Episcopal in Niagara Falls. Along the way they said playing golf, listening to music and dancing, while out on the town, were important high points as a couple.

• Richard and Margaret Tower were married on August 28, 1939 in Bradford PA. The couple have lived in their Lockport-Youngstown Road home since 1947. Being able to talk out problems, understanding each other have individual lives and our faith in god kept us together all these years, said Marg.

• Donald and Esther Stellrecht married on April 19, 1952 at the Annunciation Roman Catholic Church in Buffalo. "I think the bottom line to our successful marriage is love and respect," Ester said. "Love can be an empty word. We have a strong marriage because we've had problems, and were able to overcome them with Gods help."

• Munzir El-Chehabi, left, and his wife Ismat were married on August 17, 1939 in Damascus, the capital of Syria. The couple immigrated to the United States in 1953 and moved to Niagara Falls in 1957, where they raised their four children. "Listen to each other," is the advice that Ismat offers for young couples. Munzire suggests that a formula for a successful marriage includes finding a partner of the same class, education and most important, with the blessings from each of their families.

• Betty Harper said she's had a good marriage, it never has been a struggle being married to Ollie Harper. The two were married on January 11, 1948, in Forest Mississippi. Betty said, "Olly's been a good husband, a good provider and good to the children." Chuckling about her comments, Olly commented, "and she, was a good cook!" The couple live on 21st Street in Niagara Falls.

-- James Neiss

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12 responses

  • Mike Melnotte

    Mike Melnotte gave props (21 Feb 2013):

    Nice story, perfect images.

  • James Wiley

    James Wiley gave props (21 Feb 2013):

    Great story and beautiful, sensitive photographs!

  • kil roy metters

    kil roy metters gave props (22 Feb 2013):

    the b&w treatment really adds to the story........

  • JPG

    JPG gave props (24 Feb 2013):

    Congrats on being The Story of the Week!

  • Carol Arntsen Masiak

    Carol Arntsen Masiak gave props (25 Feb 2013):

    Congrats on story of the week - my vote!

  • Susan B. Griffith

    Susan B. Griffith   said (26 Feb 2013):

    Great story. Congratulations.

  • Cathaleen Curtiss

    Cathaleen Curtiss said (26 Feb 2013):

    Love this collection of portraits! Congratulations Jim. Thank you for sharing with JPG.

  • Donna Mullins

    Donna Mullins (Deleted) gave props (26 Feb 2013):

    What an amazing essay and heartwarming photos. GREAT job! Congrats!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (28 Feb 2013):

    Hell YEAH! Rad!

  • John Linton

    John Linton gave props (28 Feb 2013):

    Congrats on making Story of the Week!

  • James Neiss

    James Neiss said (28 Feb 2013):

    Thank You everyone and JPGMAG for looking!

  • Joe

    Joe said (5 Mar 2013):

    I think what Donald and Esther said is the basis of this long lasting relationship "We have a strong marriage because we've had problems, and were able to overcome them"

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