Old Couple Images With Quotes – June and Hubert Mellicote at their joint 99th birthday party last July. This couple has been married for 79 years. (family photo)
Almost 81 years ago, Hubert Mellicott kissed June Napier for the first time as they sat on the sofa in their living room. In his teenage mind, he thought he had blown it.
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It turns out that Hubert did not blow it at all: the two have been married for almost 80 years – and according to husband and wife, they are still in love with each other. The couple claims that they have never had a fight during their decades-long marriage. Not even once.
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The feud may be in the eye of the beholder, but the fact that they described their marriage as such is telling.
The secret to their enduring love, they said, is two things they agreed on early on: they always kiss before bed, and whenever there's a disagreement, they take time out before talking.
“It worked like a charm,” said Hubert, who joins his wife as a centenarian later this month. June turns 100 on July 13th and Hubert's birthday is July 23rd.
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The couple lives in Hamilton, Ohio – where they met at church in September 1941 when they were 19 years old. At the time, Hubert was working at a manufacturing company for 35 cents an hour, and June was working at a candy store making 10 cents an hour.
Hubert recalls that the back pew was open that day when Hubert arrived at the church with a friend. “We slid into that pew, and the view in front of us was full of girls.” One of them turned to look at me and smiled.”
After the service, a group of worshipers – including Hubert and June – walked together in the park. Hubert communicated with June and within seconds, he said, he knew.
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The attraction was mutual: “He was so beautiful,” said June, who suffered a stroke in January 2020 that left her with limited speech. She spoke coyly in a telephone interview with The Washington Post. “I just fell in love with it.”
“The next week I went back to the church to see her again,” Hubert said, adding that Sunday mornings became their regular visit, until he got up the courage to ask her out at the county fair.
They shared their first kiss that day, but their romance soon became complicated when Hubert wanted to join the navy. He enlisted in 1942 to fight in World War II.
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Still, the prospect of leaving June behind—especially without the promise of a future—was exhausting. He proposed marriage and she said yes.
On June 8, 1943, the couple married in the same church where they met. During Hubert's three years in the military—he was stationed at Rhode Island, Pearl Harbor, San Diego, and the Great Lakes Naval Station—they wrote letters to each other in confidence.
“It was terrible,” said June, who worked at an engineering company making munitions while her husband was away. She was constantly worried about his whereabouts and well-being.
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“When I arrived, there was no one on the platform but a beautiful girl,” said Hubert, who still remembers the excitement of seeing his wife waiting for him.
The Malikots soon started a family. They raised their three children in the Hubert home, built in 1953 on a five-acre farm. The couple still lives there.
After the war, Hubert continued to work for a manufacturing company, making safes and vaults, where he remained until his retirement in 1990. Although June took time off to care for her family, “when the kids were in college, the finances got too big . . . too tight, and she's been working at a thrift store for about nine years,” Hubert said.
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“By solving those problems, you become a team,” Hubert said. “You don't want to break that team; You want to keep it going.”
Despite the occasional disagreement, he said, the couple “made a conscious effort never to criticize each other,” Hubert said, noting that taking space — even for an hour or two — prevented disagreements from turning into full-blown arguments. “Whenever she smiles, all those problems disappear.”
The Mellicotts were both raised on farms – he in Indiana and she in Kentucky. Hubert was one of 13 siblings and June was one of eight. They both lived a simple life and said they wanted a little one.
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Because of this, Hubert said, “We knew how to deal with problems, how to take care of money, how to spend and how to save.”
In their retirement years, both remained committed to their hobbies, he as a woodworker and beekeeper and she as a skilled seamstress. He said that busyness kept him young.
“I never heard a harsh word between the two of them,” she said, adding that her parents rarely went out on dates or bought each other expensive gifts. “It was like meeting almost every day.” They only looked out for each other.”
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The Mellicotes celebrated their 100th birthday on July 15 with a joint celebration at Eaton Road Church of God – where they met and married – and other worshippers.
Dozens of family members — including his seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren — and close friends came to remember the family matriarch and patriarch. A black-and-white photograph of an elderly couple minus their faces, left, a man hugging his wife with a poem written in black on a blurred background.
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