MERIDEN — Ruth and “Bus” Williams celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary on Jan. 27 and had some advice for how to make love last, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
“My mother always said ‘It’s for life. Make sure you marry the right person because it’s for life,’ ” Ruth Williams said Thursday. Bus “was the right person.”
Ruth, 96, and Bus, 97, met in Wallingford on Center Street during their teenage years.
“He whistled at me. He worked in a garage and I was walking in town,” Ruth Williams said. “I was a teenager and he whistled at me. I didn’t look. The second time he whistled at me, I looked. Then we dated.”
Bus Williams served in the Navy for three years, so the couple had to wait until he was on leave before they could get married.
“We got married in 1945 and my pastor was away, so we couldn’t get married in my church,” Ruth Williams said. Bus’ mother “went to the Methodist church. She said, ‘I’ll ask our pastor.’ So he married us in his house because (Bus) had to get back to base. He only had a week off.”
Bus Williams went on to work as a carpenter and Ruth Williams in a school. They retired to Arizona after raising a family in Wallingford.
“We lived on Jones Road off of Cook Hill for 19 years and then we moved to Arizona,” Ruth Williams said. “We have 14 grandchildren living and 13 great-grandchildren.”
Today, they’re residents of the Bradley Home on Colony Street in Meriden.Remember each other
The Williams celebrated their 75th marriage anniversary with family and friends, but they never ask one another for any sort of gift.
“We just remembered each other,” Ruth Williams said. “If we had money we bought something, if we didn’t we just said ‘I love you.’ It isn’t the gifts that count, it’s the feeling and the emotion you have.”
Today, however, Ruth Williams believes young people have to be careful when looking for love.
“Today ... they got all of this social media and stuff,” Ruth Williams said. “You have to be careful. Very careful. They can make believe they’re a wonderful person until after you get married and you find out they are not so wonderful. It’s good to go with them for quite awhile and find out where they came from, what their life was and all that.
“When you meet the right one, you’ll know it,” she added.
A simple ritual has helped sustain the couple for the past 75 years.
“Always say ‘I love you’ every day,” Ruth Williams said. “You might have an argument or get angry at things. At night, make sure you say ‘I love you.’ ”