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Married 56 Years – Exchanged Letters Everyday for Five Years Before Marrying
“After our first date, I went home and told my dad I was gonna marry that guy,” said Rushie. “I said he’s tall and he can dance. My dad said, ‘I’m sure you will, but not now’.”
The date was set up by Rushie’s cousin who lived in Austin. Rushie came for a visit and David recalls the first moment he met her.
“She came bounding out and I still remember it,” said David. “She was wearing a green skirt and a white blouse. She was a vision. I was hooked.”
After their first date in Waco, David went off to Rice in Houston and Rushie went back to the 10th grade. They knew they couldn’t marry, so they started exchanging letters, and they did so every day for five years.
“They pretty much said the same thing. Each letter said, ‘I love you,’” said David. “They were the real deal - with stamps. I haven’t written a letter since.”
Rushie still holds on to some of the letters. After David finished at Rice, they married and moved to Long Beach, California where David was stationed with the Navy. He sailed out for an extended period, and he recalls that Rushie was on the pier when they left and one of the first ones waiting on the pier when they returned home.
After the Navy, David moved on to a career in semiconductor manufacturing that took them from Dallas to Houston and then to Northern California where they resided for 25 years. During their time in California, they enjoyed travel, and did so frequently. They were the first Gold Couple, an elite status for those flying a certain number of miles, for American Airlines when the program was rolled out. They also spent a lot of time in California square dancing.
When David retired, he realized that Rushie would want to retire too, from cooking.
“We took on cooking together,” said David. “We love to cook. We take a lot of classes at Central Market Cooking School. We always pat ourselves on the pack after a good meal.”
They enjoy many of the same activities. They spend time traveling, cooking and they like to exercise, hike and bike. They have spent a lot of time mountain hiking.
When asked the secret to a long, happy marriage, David says, “First: you start out with commitment. Secondly: you do it. Third: when things go wrong, you don’t blame each other.”
“It’s the commitment,” said Rushie. “There’s not an option to do something else.”
David adds that their faith in Jesus and involvement in the church have also played a big role.
One of their favorite memories is a trip they took to celebrate their 50th anniversary. They returned to Long Beach to retrace some of their steps from their newlywed days. They were able to visit their first apartment together and were even allowed to go inside to see the unit. They also visited the site of their first house, an 800 square foot bungalow that has since been replaced with a large multi-level home. They were able to take a lot of pictures and both recall the trip as a great experience and a wonderful time.
These days, they like to take their grandsons on an annual trip to make sure they see the world and are exposed to different cultures and experiences. Some of the highlights have included London, Paris, New York, Niagara Falls, Philadelphia, Washington, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, Los Angeles, and several trips to Disneyland, a nostalgic location for Rushie as she took many family and friends to the park while living in California.
“We both had flaming red hair when we married,” said David. “We would be walking down the street hand and hand looking lovingly at each other, and you could read people’s lips, ‘two red-heads.’ She loves me and is committed to me. I love her for that. She’s my steady rock.”
“Hey,” said Rushie. “I was gonna use the word steady for you. He’s steady, he’s wise in his words, he has insight and a great sense of humor. And we laugh a lot. I think I’ll go hug him now. Well, first I’ll have to give him his lunch.”
The couple now lives at The Stayton at Museum Way in Fort Worth. After taking a week long course about Fort Worth in the city a couple of years ago, the Simpsons were hooked. Rushie recalls that the decision to move was clinched after she took a letter to post office and a man in a large belt buckle opened the door for her and said, “Howdy, ma’am.” The couple moved to The Stayton, and are happy to call The Stayton and Fort Worth home.
ABOUT THE STAYTON AT MUSEUM WAY
Located in Fort Worth’s Cultural District, The Stayton at Museum Way is an 11-story, three building community featuring 188 independent living residences with a variety of spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans. In addition to resort-style independent living, The Stayton provides onsite assisted living, memory support, and private skilled nursing for life care residents and others in the community.
The Stayton at Museum Way, a Masterpiece Living® community, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit senior living community sponsored by Senior Quality Lifestyles Corporation (SQLC), a Texas-based nonprofit organization that sponsors sister communities The Buckingham in Houston, Edgemere in Dallas, Querencia at Barton Creek in Austin, Mirador in Corpus Christi and The Barrington of Carmel in Indianapolis. For information call (817) 439-6936 or visit www.thestayton.com.