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By Emily Bontrager
Gerald and Georgia Ann Robinson are the first Valentine Sweetheart couple for this year. We will look back at how they first met and how they became a couple.
Gerald Robinson was born on September 1, 1937. His parents were Harley and Irene Robinson, and they were from Putnam County. Gerald was ten years old when his parents moved to Schuyler County. He has two sisters and one brother.
In 1955, Gerald graduated from Greentop school.
Georgia Ann Lee was born on July 17, 1937. She was raised in Novinger, MO by her parents, George and Gladys Lee. She has two brothers and one sister.
In 1955, Georgia Ann graduated from Novinger R-1. She later took a few classes at Northeast Missouri State University, now known as Truman State University.
The couple first met on a blind date. They immediately took a liking to each other right away and the rest is history.
“I think he skipped school one day and came over to Novinger and we saw each other there. Some guys from Greentop came over there and they met a bunch of us girls,” Georgia Ann recalled.
“I think it was love at first sight. I’ve always said it was.”
he first official date Gerald and Georgia Ann went on was to a church service at the Freewill Baptist Church in Kirksville, MO with another couple.
“We went with Allen Peterson and his girlfriend,” Georgia Ann said.
The two started courting right away and dated for a year and a half before they got engaged.
“He never dated many other girls and I never dated many other guys either,” Georgia Ann said.
“I took one girl out before you,” Gerald replied.
The two got engaged at Christmas time in December of 1954. Gerald gave Georgia Ann a ring that she had actually picked out.
“I ordered it out of a catalog of some kind,” Gerald said.
“He had an uncle that had a business, and they got this big thick catalog that had everything in it. I picked out a ring by just looking at its picture,” Georgia Ann recalled.
When asked how long the couple has been married, Gerald laughed and said, “All my life.”
Georgia Ann laughed at Gerald’s response and said, “68 years and four months. We were married September 4, 1955.”
The wedding was held at the First Baptist Church in Kirksville, MO. Reverend John Fox officiated the wedding.
Chester Gregory was Gerald’s best man and Shirley Snyder was Georgia Ann’s maid of honor that day.
“She was a classmate of mine and he was a classmate of his,” Georgia Ann explained.
A lot of friends and family attended the small church wedding, and a reception was held after the ceremony.
“I expect there were about 80 to 100 there,” Gerald said.
After marrying, the couple went to Macon, MO for their honeymoon and stayed in a hotel.
“We left our marriage certificate in a drawer at the hotel. I had to call them the next day to have them mail it back to us,” Georgia Ann laughed.
After getting married, the two did not have a job to support each other, a home to live in, or a vehicle to drive.
“We didn’t have anything when we got married. We both lived with his folks for a while and that’s when he got a job. We both ended up going to Rockford, Illinois and eventually came back,” Georgia Ann said.
“We lived on a 500 acre farm for several years and then we moved here and have been here since 1969.”
Gerald worked many different jobs over the years to help provide for his family.
“I started out with Drury Produce here in Greentop, Missouri. Then I worked for Doc Haggard and Son Oil Company in Kirksville,” Gerald said.
“Then we went to Illinois for two years.”
After coming back from Illinois, Gerald worked for Joe Salter on a farm. He then worked for Hollister in Kirksville for a few years and then went to work for Tri-County Electric as a lineman. This is where Gerald stayed and retired.
Georgia Ann was a homemaker for many years. She then worked for the International Shoe Company for a few years.
“I worked at Haven of Rest Nursing Home here in Greentop for a while and then I went to work at the Schuyler County Nursing Home, and I worked there for 30 years,” Georgia Ann said.
Gerald and Georgia Ann are both 86 years old and they live near Greentop, MO. They have six children, Dennis, Donna, David, Dana, Douglas, and Denise. They have nine grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
During their years together, the couple traveled a lot in a motorhome with their kids, friends, and family.
“We went to a lot of vacation places. I think we have been in almost every state in the United States except for three or four and we have been in Canada,” Georgia Ann said.
“For the past six or seven years we have spent our winters in Arizona.”
The Robinsons have been married for over 68 years and they have enjoyed their years together.
Gerald and Georgia Ann have always kept God in their life, and they believe having that extra partner has helped their relationship in the long run and can help other people’s relationships as well.
The two have some advice for younger couples about marriage and the things that should be at the top of the list in a marriage.
“To me, you don’t have to have everything when you get married. You don’t have to have all of the amenities and you don’t have to have these big fancy weddings. I think it’s more togetherness and what you really put into your marriage,” Georgia Ann said.
Marriages can be hard, and it takes working together with your partner to get through the hard times.
Gerald and Georgia Ann also have a few secrets that have made their marriage last this long.
“Keep your mouth shut,” Gerald laughed and smiled.
“Gerald has been a person that has always had a good attitude. If things would go wrong or wasn’t just quite right, he would always say, ‘It is going to be alright, it will be alright,’ Georgia Ann said.
“I think kids nowadays expect too much out of marriage and they don’t really work together as much as they should.”
“It takes a lot of give and take sometimes,” Gerald added.