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’67 glorious years’ later, Oklahoma couple shares their secret to a lasting marriage

OKLAHOMA CITY — Many of us spend Valentine’s Day remembering key moments in a relationship.

From first crushes to the moments love was certain, but how would you spend the day if you knew it was the last?

John and Dean Osborne have shared 67 years of marriage together and with John entering hospice care, the couple is celebrating the time they have together.

In 1947 at a café in Mineral Wells, the two met on a blind double-date.

“After we started going together, we had a date with another person and after that, no more of that,” Dean Osborne said. “We were together the rest of time.”

Three children later, a retirement in Florida and dozens of trips up and down the country in a recreational vehicle, the two found themselves in Oklahoma City.

They moved to be closer to their son, who is a pastor at a local church.

The two spent many months in and out of the hospital in 2013, each suffering from multiple illnesses.

John was eventually told he was dying of heart failure.

He says now that they are finally home, they decided to share some of the happiest parts of their life together.

Starla Barlett, an in-home nurse with Integris Hospice, cares for John.

Married herself, she says she takes  life lessons home after every visit.

“I want to model my marriage after what they’ve got,” Barlett said. “Because they’ve obviously found the secret and found what makes it work. “

John said he believes anyone can have a happy marriage.

It’s as simple as finding the right model.

“If you want some advice on how to live together for 67 years, that’s it,” John said, referring to the Bible. “That’s the guideline.  The man who created us, the one who created us, certainly knows how to tell you how to have a happy marriage and we had one. It’s been 67 glorious years.”

With Valentine’s Day and their wedding anniversary next week, February has historically been a busy and celebratory month for the couple.

However, they say the key to love is not found in one month alone.

“We like every day,” John said. “Get up and greet one another with a big kiss and see how we are.”

As long as they’re healthy, it’s a happy day.

The two are more than willing to demonstrate their morning routine, locking lips and exchanging an ‘I love you.’

Dean said she’s thought every year after their golden anniversary would be the last, but if her husband has any say in it, the two won’t live a day apart.

“I always told her about leaving each other, be sure and pack me a bag because I’m going with you,” John said with a hearty laugh and a glance over to his wife. “None of this is getting away.”