Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

September 8, 2013

The love almost lost

The Johnsons celebrate 74 years and how they found each other

(Continued)

“It was no different than when we took our vows the first time,” Jean said.

“I just think we finally made it legal,” Tookie joked.

Jean and Tookie thought that making it to 50 years of marriage was quite an accomplishment. They never fathomed they’d have 24 more anniversaries after that one.

“I thought that would be our last one,” Jean said about her 50th wedding anniversary. “I didn’t think we’d live long enough.”

Jean and Tookie have beaten the health odds. Tookie has had six stints in his heart, and Jean had a stroke that affected her throat and esophagus, resulting in her only being able to eat puréed food. She had breast cancer, and is fighting kidney cancer.

“It gets discouraging once in a while,” Jean said.

The couple leaned on each other for support during their tough times.

“Whether it’s richer or poorer, or sickness or health, you’re there,” Jean said. “There isn’t a couple going that hasn’t had their ups and downs.”

Jean and Tookie just celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary, and at 95 years old, they both agree that marriage is about give and take. They say it’s important to understand each other’s likes and dislikes.

“It brings you closer together,” Jean said.

“You have to be yourself, that’s all you can do,” Tookie said. “Even if we do fuss and fight once in a while, we make up afterward.”

The Johnsons, who are proud great-great grandparents, have tried to teach their children to not walk away from commitments and to stick it out, even if times are tough.

“To this day, when we go to bed at night, we always hug and kiss and tell each other we love each other,” Jean said. “Our love has gotten stronger.”

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