Cookeville Couple Married For 81 Years - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Cookeville Couple Married For 81 Years

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - Lonnie and Jessie Mabrey have spent plenty of days together. As those days turned into years, Jessie's laughter punctuates sentences and Lonnie's quick wit makes for interesting conversations. Eighty-one years later they still look deeply into each other's eyes.

"It's all pretty good. I don't know which would be the best. I really don't. We've always been happy together," Jessie said.

They've been practically inseparable since first meeting as teenagers, bobbing for apples at a Halloween party.

"Instead of the apple I got the lips," Lonnie said. "He was trying to get my lips and I was getting the apple," Jessie added.

And on August 11, 1931 they eloped.

"He picked me up in high school. We went to Albany, Kentucky and got married," Jessie said. "(My parents) didn't even know about it. I didn't go back home for about a week. I was afraid to."

Looking back they say things have been good, but they haven't always been easy.

"We had a good life all the way. I just lost my children. That was about the worst part we had.

Two of their sons died as infants.

"The thing that they've relied on an awful lot is their religion and their faith," son Bob Mabrey said. "That's something they've always had. I was raised with it."

No matter what life brings they're in it together and say that's their secret.

"Well always talk things over. I think it worked out ok. So far," Jessie said.

Lonnie's 101 years old and Jessie is still the apple of his eye.

"Instead of getting the apple," he said, "I got her."

These days Lonnie and Jessie Mabrey enjoy their grandchildren and great grandchildren.

They still live independently at their home in Cookeville.


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