Seventy years ago a couple decided to get married after a romance blossomed in high school.
Cape Coral residents Ruth and Richard Zopp hope to celebrate their 70th anniversary on Monday by going out to a restaurant they both love.
Their story began after Richard began noticing Ruth at school in West Virginia and wanted to take a typing class just so he could get to know her a little better their senior year. His plan worked and they began dating.
After dating for a while, Ruth said they went out one evening with the owner and his wife of the service station where Richard worked. It changed their lives. She said they asked when they were going to get married and Richard looked at her and said tomorrow, a proposal to which she did not hesitate to agree.
Ruth went home and put her best clothes in a dress box and they headed to Tennessee.
Richard said they had to go to Bristol, Tenn. to obtain their marriage license without parental approval because they were only 18 in 1941. Once they arrived, the couple asked and found a minister and went to his house. Before they knocked on the door Ruth picked a flower from the garden.
“I broke off an iris and put it on my shirt,” she said, smiling.
They then split a hamburger meal in celebration of their marriage.
Ruth said driving to Tennessee to get married with just the two of them present seemed “perfectly natural.”
In June 1978, the Zopps moved to Cape Coral; Richard got a feel of Florida when he was enlisted in the Air Force and was sent to Miami for a week.
He said after spending time in Miami he knew he wanted to live in Florida.
When asked what the secret was of being married for 70 years, Ruth replied, smiling, a sense of humor.
Advice was also shared on how to keep a relationship going when a disagreement occurs.
Richard said you have to work through it and discuss things when those arguments occur.
“When your trust is strong you know you will work through it, period,” Richard said.
He said it has been a great experience to be with the same person for so long.
Ruth said the past 70 years have been fun and she hopes it will continue that way.
“We love each other very much,” she said, glowing.
Cape Coral residents Ruth and Richard Zopp celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary Monday, May 23.