FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — After a year of COVID-19 restrictions, Bill and Rosie George did not expect to do much for their 78th wedding anniversary, but the people at Brookdale Senior Living had other plans.
Bill and Rosie George celebrating married on April 17, 1943, in Georgia. At the time, Rosie was 18 years old and Bill was 19 years old. They celebrated 78 years of marriage on April 17, 2021, by walking down the aisle for the first time.
The employees at Brookdale Senior Living planned out a celebration for the couple and their family now that COVID-19 restrictions have lifted. To make it all the more special, they gave the couple a chance to finally get the wedding march they never had with their justice-of-the-peace ceremony in 1943.
“It was just a common wedding,” said Bill. “We didn’t want to overdo it because we didn’t have that kind of money.”
Plus, they were short on time with Bill sent to fight in World War II just three months after their wedding. They finally got their shot to walk to the music, and it was made all the more special by their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild who shared the moment with them.
“It was sure nice,” Rosie said.
“It was sure nice,” added Bill. “We didn’t expect that, but we just expected a few questions and that was it. We didn’t expect that much family over.”
According to Rosie, their secret to 78 successful years of matrimony was possible by “having all the family and all the friends behind me.” Bill credited the success to finding Rosie and never letting go.
“When you find the right girl at the right time, it doesn’t take a lot of looking,” said Bill. “You found her, and she’s the sweetest thing you could ever have.”
Rosie and Bill first met at a lake in Northeast Indiana. Once Bill returned from the service, the couple returned to the Fort Wayne area where Bill worked several jobs including as a meat cutter, a bartender, and for the Fort Wayne Fire Department for 24 years. Rosie worked for downtown flower shop Cottage Flowers for a number of years. The couple also owned a candy store on Calhoun Street called Candy Village for about ten years in the 1970s. They have two children, four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.