For many people, 70 years is a lifetime. For Margaret and Ernest Tucker of Hermiston, it’s a lifetime of memories together.
Today is the 70th wedding anniversary of the couple that has lived more places and experienced more opportunities that many could even dream of.
From serving in the Air Force to working in Hawaii and traveling all over the globe, it is fair to say that the Tuckers have made sure to grab life by the horns.
And it all started with a coincidental meeting in 1943 in Boise, Idaho.
“I actually picked him up in a movie theater,” Margaret said.
Margaret said they happened to sit next to each other in the theater and got to talking between movies, finding out that she knew his uncle.
At that point, they shared a Coke and following the movie, he walked her home.
When she got home, Margaret told her mother that Ernest was the man she was going to marry.
“I was drawn to his uniform and his southern Oklahoma accent,” she said. “I thought he was exactly what I was looking for and we probably never would have met if it wasn’t for the war.”
Ernest served as a cadet in the Air Force and was stationed in Boise at the time. Margaret was going to business school in the area as well.
One month after they met the couple decided to get married.
“We were so young,” Margaret said. “We probably didn’t have more than $35 between the two of us.”
Ernest’s career in the Air Force took them all over the United Sates, including half-a-dozen places in Texas, Margaret said. They had a daughter, Linda, and eleven years later had two more children: a daughter Lucinda and son Richard.
Following Ernest’s nearly five years in the service, he worked in a variety of jobs in the telephone industry including serving as an operator and field engineer for the Bell Telephone Company, Automatic Electric in Washington D.C., a company based out of Hawaii and more.
His positions in the telephone industry took him to places as far as Vietnam, Japan and Korea during the Vietnam war where he worked to build telephone networks and communications buildings.
Ernest also helped build the private telephone exchange for the Howard University Hospital in Washington D.C.
“We’ve lived in many places and worked in many places,” Margaret said. “My parents thought we were crazy doing all of that moving.”
Margaret said even though they have lived in so many places, they have made sure to make a home wherever they went.
“Life is an adventure,” she said. “Some places you like, some you don’t.”
After a lifetime of moving and traveling, the couple retired and settled down in Florida, where they lived through two hurricanes in 2005 that totaled their house. They decided to move to Albany, Ga., and later decided that the area wasn’t right for them as it was far from any family.
The couple researched retirement communities near their daughter Linda, who lives in Umatilla. They decided on the Sun Terrace Hermiston Assisted Living that provided a number of activities throughout the week for them to participate in.
Margaret said they didn’t want the remainder of their life to consist of them sitting and watching TV all day.
“So we don’t,” Ernest said.
In addition to the activities put on by the center and visiting with their daughter, the couple spends their time partaking in personal hobbies. Margaret knits and talks with other knitters on the computer and Ernest trades stocks on stock market.
Margaret said they have stayed up to date with most technology, though neither of them has ever had a cellphone.
“Our cellphone is plugged into the wall,” Ernest said.
As far as the secret goes to having a long and happy marriage, Margaret said the best advice she can give is to live in the moment and not let it get boring.
“We have so many memories that we always have something to talk about,” she said.
Ernest said another thing is always trying to please your wife.
“The answer is always ‘yes dear,’” he said jokingly.
OPB | Feb. 22, 2017