Raleigh couple celebrating 75th anniversary shares secrets to happy marriage

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Bennie and Ruth McMinis got married on May 24, 1942. (WTVD)

A Raleigh couple, both in their 90s, is celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary this weekend. The pair sat down with ABC11 to share how they made their happy marriage work for so long.

Bennie and Ruth McMinis got married on May 24, 1942. Bennie, a World War II veteran, was on a ship ready to invade Japan when the war ended.

"I joined the service when the War Department notified my momma that one of my brothers had gone somewhere," Bennie said. "I thought it was my duty to take his place."

While Bennie was away, Ruth got a job to help with the war effort and to feel connected to her husband.

"He did call me, but we didn't have a phone at my mother's in this little town," Ruth explained. "But my neighbor had a phone, so when Bennie would call her house and she would come and get me to go get my phone call! But we mostly wrote letters. They were always love letters."

The couple has four children, nine grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. Bennie started the North Raleigh Plumbing Company when he returned from the war, and one of his sons still runs the business.

"I was raised that when you were married, you was with that person as long as they was living," Ruth shared. "Then, if they died...you was eligible to marry again!"

Bennie said the secret to marital success is keeping the wife happy.

"Do everything the wife tells you to do every time she tells you to do it!"

Bennie, 95, and Ruth, 94, did not have a reception when they got married. Their family plans to celebrate them with a big cake and party in Raleigh on Saturday.

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