SPRINGFIELD, Ga. (WSAV) — Most married couples hope to end up spending a lifetime together, and a Rincon-area couple has done just that.
Morris and Maxine Oglesby have been inseparable for the length of the average human lifespan in the United States — 78 years.
And the couple has been in wedded bliss for pretty much all of them, they tell News 3.
“He’s here and I’m here. We’re happy,” said Maxine, 94.
“We don’t ever get tired of each other, and I’ve tried to do my best with him,” she told News 3.
The family believes the astonishing length of the Oglesby marriage may well be the longest recorded marriage in the State of Georgia.
The lovebirds got hitched on Nov. 21, 1941, and the Oglesby family came from out of state from Jacksonville, Florida, and the Louisville, Kentucky, area to spend time with them for the special anniversary.
Although they don’t have images of their big day, Maxine recalled their wedding ceremony as “wonderful.”
“He’s a man that anybody would love to have as a father and a husband,” Maxine said.
She and Morris met when she was 16 and he was 19 in Lakeland, Georgia.
“I was in construction, working in Valdosta, and I had to go by her house to work, and that’s when we started dating,” 97-year-old Morris, a World War II veteran, recalled about all those years ago.
“Everything’s been good ever since,” he said.
The two were married in Lakeland.
“We have had a happy time together, and we have been married too long!” Maxine laughed.
“But I couldn’t look the world over and get one like him.”
Building a life together
Early in their marriage, Morris served in the military during WWII and spent time in the Philippines, while Maxine went off to school.
Morris’s family describes him as a master carpenter and superintendent.
“They honored God first in their lives, they’ve honored country and they’ve honored community,” said Webster “Webby” Oglesby, the eldest son of Morris and Maxine. “Because dad brought Habitat for Humanity into Effingham County, and that’s one of his goals in life,”
Doing something for others, Morris said, was important to him. Throughout his career, he built hospitals, homes, schools and a museum.
“He worked until his late 80s because they would always call him back and say, ‘We have a problem we need you to help us fix,’” Webster said.
“He would go back in and work some more,” he said, adding that his father retired about three times.
“He always had a good job, then he grew up to be a boss man with all of it,” Maxine said of her husband.
“I was right there behind him all the time,” she said. “And he is smart as a whip—not that he used it on me!” she joked.
Morris, who the family says didn’t stop working until he was 90, supervised crews to build churches for the South Georgia Methodist Conference.
“He built a museum, the old church between Rincon and Savannah, and restored that church building and put a lot of his life, time and money into it,” said Webster, who himself became a head minister at a church in Indiana.
The couple went on to have four children, who gave them 12 grandchildren, 24-great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.
“Everything that I can think of, they all have a special thing to do,” Maxine told News 3 about her kids.
She still refers to her youngest, Ricky, as her baby. She added that all of her grandchildren are “number one” in her eyes.
“I love them to pieces,” Maxine said.
Maintaining a lasting marriage
Maxine held her husband’s hand the entire time she spoke with News 3, who stopped by the Effingham Extended Care Center in Springfield to visit Morris, Maxine and the visiting Oglesby family before they went out for an anniversary dinner.
The couple still calls each other affectionate names like “honey” and “sweetheart,” and they steal kisses whenever they can.
“They’ve been a great example for us,” said Webster.
“I think all young couples who are married should seek, if they don’t have that kind of example in their lives, a couple that have longevity in their marriage and longevity in their love, and absolutely spend hours sitting and talking with them about what it takes to keep that relationship together,” Webster told News 3.
When Maxine and Morris reflected on their decades of love, dedication and growth, they agreed that marking 78 years of marriage is something to be proud of.
The secret to making a marriage last through all those years?
“You’ve got to have a lot of love and patience to make it work,” Morris said.
“I’ve never been no happier since being this man’s wife,” Maxine shared.