A couple of their friends suggested getting married on New Year’s Day. Bill and Betty Wallace thought, “Why not?” They had courted for about six months and that was the next step.
That was 70 years ago.

Saturday, 45 friends and relatives celebrated with the Wallaces in Bridge City at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

Bill, 91, and Betty, 87, met at a community dance in Edmond, Okla. in 1940. They have been together ever since.

A failed jump during training with the 541st Parachute Infantry Regiment kept Bill out of the war, but in the hospital for a year with broken hips and other complications. Betty never left his side at the hospital in Hot Springs, Ark. After his discharge, they moved to Orange County.

The Wallaces have resided in their home in Victory Gardens for 52 years. Bill is a retired refinery worker. Betty retired from bookkeeping and sales at local department stores. Their only son died in 1996 at the age of 46.

They spend their day, “piddlin’ around the house, working in the yard,” said Bill. “She has a lot of flowers, and I do a lot of gardening.” Tuesday he was busy raking leaves.

Bill said the secret to a long marriage is “a lot of patience and putting in a little effort.”

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.