Local News

'Right from the start': Couple married for 70 years are definition of love, commitment

Posted February 14, 2019 6:58 p.m. EST

— Neil and Beatrice Belanus are the definition of love and commitment.

Both are 91 years old and, this weekend, they will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

An encounter at a bowling alley in Mid Land Park, New Jersey, back in 1945 ultimately led them down the aisle.

"I noticed the good-looking girl in the other alley," Neil Belanus said.

Beatrice fancied him too.

"Tall and handsome. Sweet. And I just knew he was the right one from the start," she said.

"So, I finally got really brave and asked her if I could walk her home," Neil Belanus said.

When boy met girl, love and war eventually met. Neil's brother was fighting in the Pacific.

"I felt like I should do my part, so I joined the Naval Reserve," he said.

"While I was in, my wife wrote me a letter every day. So, I figured that was something I should really be excited about. I better keep her.”

Neil promised to build her a nice home someday, and in the summer of 1948, he popped the question.

The wedding would be five days after Valentine's Day 1949.

"We made our profession of faith early in life and stuck to it all these years," Beatrice Belanus said. “God has been our refuge and strength through it all."

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

In a country where half of all marriages fall apart, what makes theirs last?

"For me, it's being happy in the Lord and being happy with this guy," Beatrice said. "Because he's been such a wonderful husband, so loving."