Still crazy in love after all these years

PORT CLINTON For Woody and Becky Shackleford, love is ageless. The Indianapolis couple renewed their wedding vows Frid
JACOB LAMMERS
May 24, 2010

PORT CLINTON

For Woody and Becky Shackleford, love is ageless.

The Indianapolis couple renewed their wedding vows Friday after 68 years of marriage.

The Shacklefords were one of two couples to renew their wedding vows at Edgewood Manor Nursing Center as one of many activities scheduled for National Nursing Home Week.

"That's a long time and to still be in love and want to renew your vows is amazing," said Carolyn Legg, the nursing home's activities director.

Becky, 88, wore a pink blouse, orange sash and tiara, as her son, John, took her up the aisle in a wheelchair. Becky has been a resident of the nursing home for seven years.

While the two exchanged vows, several nursing home residents sat in the crowd amid pink decorations wrapped in green ivy.

"That's very impressive," resident Doris Rounds said. "You don't see it that much anymore. Some people are on their two, three or four marriages."

In 1936, the couple first met after Becky's cousin set them up on a blind date.

On Feb. 3, 1940, they exchanged vows in a private ceremony and began a family.

The couple has three children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

"I think with this age group when you say 'death do us part' they really have that obligation," daughter-in-law Jane Shackleford said. "There is that commitment with that generation."

After the ceremony, Woody, 95, dressed in a black suit and blue tie, cut his wife a piece of cake.

Woody is largely blind and suffers from macular degeneration, and Becky has Alzheimer's. Despite those setbacks, the couple seems closer than ever, often exchanging a kiss and a laugh.

John, who's been married to his wife, Jane, for 31 years, hopes to be married just as long as his parents.

"If we live so long," he said. "It's pretty rare to see people this old."

With about 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, Jane said the secret to a long marriage is "you learn to make it work."