Oree and Lena McRae, an African American couple from Union City, California, have celebrated their 79th wedding anniversary. Oree is almost 100 years old and his wife, Lena, is almost 97.
Oree and Lena’s love story began in high school in Arkansas, where they first caught each other’s eyes, they told KTVU.
Oree still fondly recalls Lena’s beauty, describing her as “one of the best looking on the campus,” he said. Lena also couldn’t help but admire Oree’s charm and handsome features.
Their courtship lasted three years, and at the ages of 20 and 17, Oree and Lena got married in a ceremony officiated by a justice of the peace. Since then, Oree, the two have been inseparable for nearly eight decades.
“When I first asked her to marry me, that’s the woman I wanted to be with. And after we got married, we just stayed together. We stuck together all these years,” said Oree.
They traveled together from Arkansas to Detroit, where Oree worked as a spot welder. They moved to the Bay Area in San Francisco in 1951, where he appreciated the chilly temperature. They lived in San Francisco’s Bayview district for 30 years before relocating to Union City, where they have lived for the past three decades.
They raised six children together and are now grandparents to 25, great-grandparents to 15, and great-great-grandparents to three.
The pair credits their long-lasting love to their common hobbies and faith in Christ. They expressed their thankfulness for having such a huge and loving family, stressing their decades together.