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Bay City couple to celebrate 71 years of marriage

Posted at 2:32 PM, Feb 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-14 14:32:41-05

A couple who eloped against their families' wishes will be celebrating 71 years of marriage in June.

The Bay City Times reports then-21-year-old Don Carlyon and his 19-year-old girlfriend Betty decided to elope without their parents' blessings after Don's minister father refused to perform the ceremony on account of the couple being too young. The two started dating right before he left for the U.S. Navy, and the decision to elope came three months after he returned.

The couple drove to Kansas City, Kansas, to elope because the state doesn't have a waiting period to become legally married. They broke the news to their families the same night. Don says the families accepted the marriage because divorce was frowned upon in the 1940s.

The Carlyons now live in Bay City.