Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

December 29, 2013

The girl next door

Elmer Byers and Kathy Tilley were next-door neighbors when the teens fell in love

(Continued)

“At the house there were so many memories and moving got us away from that,” Kathy said.

These days Kathy and Elmer never like to be without each other.

“It’s more relaxed,” she said. “Back then it was a lot more hectic. Now you have more time to really enjoy each other than you did.”

They’ve been married for 61 years, and Elmer says he would recommend it to anybody.

“That kind of relationship is the best there is,” he said.

Elmer and Kathy have been through a lot in their marriage, but they said they never thought about calling it quits.

“It seems like young couples now, when they have a quarrel they say that’s it and they run to a lawyer and start divorce proceedings,” Kathy said. “You gotta learn to get along with each other and work your problems out.”

The Byerses certainly learned how to solve their problems together.

“You both can’t be right and you both can’t be boss,” Kathy said. “With compromising, you’re working through your problems together and not finding fault with the other all the time.”

After more than six decades of marriage, the Byerses enjoy reflecting on all the ups and downs of their life together.

“It’s neat being able to go through everything over the years and survive it all after 61 years later,” Kathy said.

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