Barbara and Ivan Perkins have stayed happily married together through keeping the faith.
Barbara and Ivan Perkins reached a milestone on July 10 when they celebrated their 75th year of marriage. The Perkins are residents of Sarasota Health and Rehabilitation Center where five generations of their family gathered to congratulate the couple on their anniversary.
The couple met in 1943 when Barbara and Ivan were 18 and 19, respectively. Barbara’s brother, who worked with Ivan at a shipyard in Portland, ME, introduced the two.
“He didn’t know anyone who went to church as often as Barbara and me, so he thought it would be a good match,” said Ivan Perkins.
They were married in less than a year. On their wedding day, however, things didn’t run as smoothly as they had hoped. Two of Barbara’s friends, who disapproved of the relationship, tried to keep her from walking down the aisle by stealing her away.
But the wedding moved forward, and 75 years later, they remain deeply committed. They both said it was their strong bond to their Christian faith that has kept them together for so long.
Barbara Perkins said that her advice to other couples would be to put God first. Ivan Perkins added that their favorite activity to do together was going to church.
“We've never drank, we've never smoked and I've just been a good boy,” Ivan Perkins said. “I would do it all over again.”
Barbara and Ivan Perkins, now 93 and 94, have lived in Sarasota for more than 30 years. They raised four children and have seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and three great, great-grandchildren. Ivan supported the family any way he could from owning a 60-acre farm to selling used cars. Two of their sons took over the used car business and said their parents have always been family-oriented.
“To celebrate this rare occasion is a miracle from God,” said Dick Perkins, Barbara and Ivan’s eldest son, who is 74. “It's a blessing to share this occasion with my parents at my age.”