British Columbia

'It was love at first sight': How this B.C. couple has made it work for more than 60 years

After 60 years of marriage, two kids and five grandchildren, Frank and Katie Walters, who moved to Salmon Arm in 1995, say there are a few things that have helped them make their relationship work.

Respect and hugs can go a long way, says Salmon Arm couple

Katie Marguerite Walters and Frank Walters have been married for 60 years. (Leah Shaw/CBC)

When Katie Marguerite Walters first saw Frank Walters in 1955, she is sure "it was love at first sight."

But she was only 14 and Frank was 19. 

"And in the 1950s you didn't date when you were that young," she said. "He was like a star to me."

So it wasn't until five years later that Frank popped the question in the car on a quiet side road in London, Ontario. 

They got married in 1960 and they've been inseparable ever since.

"We're very fortunate to be together at this stage in our life," said Katie.

After 60 years of marriage, two kids, four grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren, the couple — who moved to Salmon Arm after Frank retired from being a mining engineer in 1995 — has figured out what makes their relationship work.

Respect

"We've got to respect each other," said Frank, 85. 

Katie, 80, echoed this, adding that respect "cushions the blow" in any argument.

Terms of endearment

"I tell the young girls: If you're going to tell them off or really get ticked off with them at the end of the tirade, you say, 'dear,'" said Katie.

"I call her dear all the time," said Frank, a former recreational pilot. "She calls me lots of things."

Sticking out tough times

Whenever they have a fight, the couple doesn't give up.

"You hang in there. Even if you don't agree with each other, you just darn well make it work," said Katie.

"In our day, that's what you did. You didn't just give up, and anybody that says they don't fight with each other, they're lying."

Staying close

Katie said they stay close to each other every day and share a bed.

"We couldn't live without each other," she said. 

"He's just a great big teddy bear and easy to hug." 

With files from Leah Shaw and Daybreak South

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