York County couple celebrate 75 years together


They were just 18 when they got married.

The wedding was small. York County resident Marie Shoemaker wore blue. It was her husband, Arthur Shoemaker's, favorite color.

Only a few people came to the ceremony, which took place in their hometown in Armstrong County.

The couple have been together ever since.

This September, they will celebrate 75 years of marriage. Both will also celebrate turning 93 years old.

"Not to bad for two lovebirds," Arthur said, as he sat close to Marie. "It's been quite a journey."

They are always at each other's side and still enjoy holding hands.

Through it all, the couple says a strong faith and open communication have kept their marriage a happy one.

"We do get asked 'what makes a good marriage'," Marie said. "It's still something I think about."

Now retired, they regularly take walks, visit church and make a point to laugh.

"He says I do most of the talking," Marie said.

Offspring: The Shoemakers are surrounded by pictures of their life together, including trips, children and great-grandchildren.

"No great-great-grandchildren yet," Marie said.

Their children, who have scattered around the country, always make a point to come back for reunions, especially during their milestone anniversaries.

Marie can remember each celebration. There was the anniversary they went to New York — and another where the family held a big party.

There was the motor home vacation; that's the time they went to California to visit one of their sons.

The family plans to come together again to celebrate in Dover. The couple has been residing in York County for nearly two decades.

First sight: Arthur first met Marie when they were teenagers.

"For me, it was love at first sight," he said.

Marie thought Arthur was cute, she said.

They both dreamed of raising a family centered around their faith — and living on a farm.

To help support the family, which grew to eight children in 11 years, Arthur worked at the local brickyard.

"You could say we kept busy," Marie said. "Very busy."

They made sure to attend church regularly.

Moving: Once the children were grown, the couple moved around to find work, usually at summer camps.

That included time in West Virginia before coming to York County to be near family.

They both took jobs at Black Rock Retreat in Lancaster County.

"I worked in maintenance while Marie worked in reception," Arthur said.

Before moving into their current home, the couple lived in the development's model home for eight months so their home could be constructed properly.

They both said it was an experience they would never forget.

Marie said she feels blessed to have Arthur in her life.

"Through it all, we made a point to be together no matter what," Marie said. "Even when things got hard, I always knew we would be together.

Correction. An earlier version stated the couple will celebrate their anniversary in October. It will take place in September.