Mt. Laurel couple looks back on 80 years of marriage

Mt. Laurel couple looks back on 80 years of marriage

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According to tradition, a 25th wedding anniversary is celebrated with gifts of silver. For a 50th anniversary, it’s gifts of gold. And for those fortunate enough to make it to 75 years, diamonds are exchanged.

But what is the gift for an impressive 80-year marriage?

William and Williemae Fullwood may know. The Mt. Laurel residents celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary last July, and are now working toward anniversary №81.

According to William, there’s no big secret in achieving such a marriage milestone.

“Love,” he said with a smile. “That’s all I can tell you.”

The Fullwoods spent their married years in Burlington before moving to Mt. Laurel Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, where they recently celebrated their birthdays. William turned 98 on Feb. 7. Williemae marked 101 years on Feb. 9.

Their story begins in 1934, when William — a farmer — met Williemae at an entertainment event at her school, where she was a teacher. It was just “instinct and nature” that drew William to Williemae, however, three years her junior, William’s charm didn’t work on Williemae right away.

“She kept telling me I was too young, but I kept coming back,” William said. “One day, she called me and said she was ready.”

That was the beginning of their 80-year journey. The couple settled in Burlington, raising 13 children. Their family has since expanded to include 42 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren and quite a few great-great-grandchildren, too. They were longtime members of Second Baptist Church of Moorestown.

William said while they had lots of mild fights, they never had a big fight. They were well matched and lived a wonderful life.

“We had a big family,” William said, “and we’ve done well.”