A Missouri couple rang in the new year unlike anyone else.

Andrew, 103, and Bertha “Bunny”, 102, Kowalcyk celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary alongside their family and friends at Cape Albeon Lakeside Retirement Living in Valley Park.

The couple, who were both born in New Hampshire, met at a dance at the University of New Hampshire.

“They were both going to University of New Hampshire and there was a dance at the dorm,” David Kowalczyk, the couple’s son, told KTVI. “And the way they got couples to dance is you had a lottery and you picked a number. Well, both my father and my mother picked number 23. And, so, that’s how they ended up together.”

One month later the two went on a date, and the rest is history.

The two got engaged in October 1943 and agreed to wait until after World War II – Andrew was in the Navy – to get married. But their love for one another altered their plans.

“He called me on the phone, and he said, ‘I changed my mind; I want to get married now,’” Bertha said. “So I told him the one day I like, and I think is significant is New Year’s Day, and he said okay.”

“My father had to take leave, and he arrived a couple hours before the wedding took place,” David said. “And he had gotten leave from his officer, and he said he had to be back on Jan. 1. but he said, ‘Well, I’m getting married.’ And he said, ‘Well, we’ll make it Jan. 3.’”

The couple got married January 1, 1944. Andrew and Bertha had six children, along with 31 grandchildren and great grandchildren, many who were present Monday during the celebration for their 80th wedding anniversary party.

Congratulations to the happy couple! Very few people can say they have spent eight decades married to the love of their life.


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