KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Valentine’s Day is the day we celebrate love, and one East Tennessee couple has been celebrating their love for more than seven decades.
With a lifetime of love and laughter, Dorothy and Anthony Kliemann are celebrating a milestone this year. It is their diamond anniversary, 75 years.
“It’ll be 75 in June,” Dorothy said.
When asked what they think about 75 years together, Dorothy laughed, “That was a long time.”
“That’s a fact,” Anthony chuckled.
They met and married young. Dorothy said Anthony was her best friend’s cousin and lived a couple blocks away. Their opinions differ on whether it was love at first sight.
“I think it took a while,” Dorothy said. Anthony added, “Oh I think I was in love with her from the beginning.”
They said ‘I do’ June 27, 1942.
“I was 17, but almost 18. I had to have my father’s permission in those days. And he was 20, almost 21,” Dorothy said.
Their family grew over the years with seven children, 14 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren.
“You just take it each step at a time,” Anthony said.
“I think it went quite well most of the time. I’m sure we argued as much as most couples,” Dorothy said. Anthony joked, “Eventually I yield.”
After a lifetime at each others’ side they still choose to show little tokens of love, sharing kisses and holding hands.
“I think we’re doing pretty good. We did pretty good,” Anthony said.
So as the world is thinking about love on Valentine’s Day we thought what better pair to ask for advice. A lot of compromise, they said.
“Don’t give up too easy. A lot of marriages today, people don’t even give them a chance,” Dorothy said.
There are 75 years of memories between them, but if you ask them, they remember the good times.
“I think we’re pretty lucky to be able to enjoy each other this long in life,” Anthony said.
Dorothy reminisced, “It was good.”
Their family is planning to get together this summer to celebrate their anniversary.