Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

November 17, 2013

A love that grows

Sixty years of marriage have not quelled the Rifes' love and attraction to each other.

(Continued)

“We call it the honeymoon cottage,” Joan laughed.

They spent six months commuting to work in Kokomo. Bud worked at a lumber company, and Joan worked at Shell Oil. Eventually, they found a place to live in Kokomo. Bud went on to work at General Motors for a few decades before he retired. Together, they went fishing on the Eel River and raised their three children.

“We tried to do everything we could together and do things the other person enjoyed,” Bud said.

Joan worked in Eastern Elementary’s cafeteria for many years where she served her kids, grandkids and great-grandkids.

“That may not have anything to do with your marriage, but that’s some of the benefits you really reap,” she said of getting to watch her offspring grow up.

The Rifes have been married for 60 years, and they agree that those six decades have gone by really quickly.

“I think when you’re married for longer years, you grow more compatible,” Joan said. “You sure know each other inside and out.”

Bud and Joan treasure their time together, but they think it’s important to be independent, too.

“When we first were married, it seemed like everything you did, you kind of depended on the other person,” Bud said. “I think you’ve got to be independent because, at our age, some day one of us isn’t going to be here, so you can’t be hooked to the other person’s hip.”

The couple says a good marriage doesn’t just happen. They have worked together to make their marriage a happy one. Trust, sharing, respect and believing in each other have helped build their successful relationship.

“You’ve got to trust,” Bud said. “There’s no other way. It eliminates any of your doubts.”

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