Local couple nears 61 years of marriage

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Horners say key to happiness is avoiding fights

Bill and Adella Horner first laid eyes on one another in the 1950s, and it was love at first sight.

Bill, 90, and Adella, 80, are approaching 61 years of marriage on May 16, and the couple said their time together has been a blessing.

"We met when Bill's brother and my cousin, Irene, were dating, and she introduced us," Adella said. Bill said it did not take long for the two to get cozy.

"I guess it was love at first sight," he said. "We sure liked each other right off. She was a wonderful little girl and a beauty, and I love her cooking."

Bill said there are too many of Adella's recipes he loves to single out his favorite, but did say her fried chicken is top notch.

When the two first met, Adella said they enjoyed going to movies, going out to eat and dancing.

"We used to go to Noell, Mo., to a place called Shadow Lake," she said. "We would go dancing and go on boat rides together and with Bill's cousin. Bill was so nice and polite, and we had so much fun together."

The pair dated for about a year in 1952 before getting married in 1953 and, shortly after, moving into their home just outside of Cassville, where they have lived ever since.

"My uncle built this house for us, and on Valentine's Day of 1953, we were outside putting the stakes and lines in the ground," Bill said.

Bill said there are many ways to keep a marriage healthy, but one stands out above all the others.

"Don't fight," he said. "There's no point in getting into arguments, because nobody wins."

Bill had a knack for avoiding fights, such as one time when he removed the live Christmas tree from the couple's home.

"It came time to take the tree down and it was in a pan and the tree didn't take up all the water," Adella said. "Well, he dragged the tree out the front door and the water was falling out of the pan all over the floor and the needles were falling off the tree. I was pretty upset, and he just left to go on a delivery and left me there with the tree. We've never had a live tree since."

The Horners own their own company, the Bill Horner Oil Company, and Adella said the home business is a big part of what's kept their marriage so strong.

"We always worked well together and we run the business out of our home, and our interests are the same, so that made it easy for us to be together all the time," she said. "We were always a happy couple and definitely wanted to have children."

Adella and Bill said the most memorable times of the couple's 60-plus years were the births of their sons, David in 1959 and Jon in 1963. They are also the proud grandparents of five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. The couple's life stories are also featured in a book published in November by the Barry County Museum.

Adella said the key to staying happily married for so long is to always spend time together.

"You have to make time for one another," she said. "So many young people these days are so busy with their jobs they don't have time for that, and it is very important."

Adella said the couple's faith has also played a big role, as the two attend a local Methodist church.

"It's an important part of our lives and something we share together," she said. "And, we loved bringing our children up in the church."

Nowadays, with age creeping in, the Horners don't get out as much as they used to, but Adella said they like to keep things fresh by going to Branson every now and then.

"We like going to the shows and going shopping," she said.

This year, Bill and Adella plan to spend Valentine's Day nearby, doing the same things they do every year.

"We always go out to eat, and he always gets me flowers or perfume," she said. "And, I always get him some chocolates."

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