One of the longest-married couples in the country celebrates 77th wedding anniversary

One of the longest-married couples in the country celebrates 77th wedding anniversary

ERIE, Colo. - A Colorado couple celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary Wednesday.

They have one of the longest marriages in the country, a few years short of the 2015 record of 81 years, reported to the Worldwide Marriage Encounter.

"We were married that long? Wow!" said Mildred Betts. "Unbelievable, huh?"

Mildred and Howard Betts were married on February 17, 1939, not long after they met.

"From what I understand, they went over to his friend Henry's, who she was supposed to have a date with," said Charlotte Betts, the couple's daughter-in-law. "But, she met Howard, and that's who she ended up with."

Mildred is now 93 years old and Howard is 99.

"He'll be 100 in June, so he wants to make it that far," said Thomas Betts, the couple's son. "It means a lot to me, as a son, being in a family where parents stay together."

Family photographs fill in the blanks that dementia, Alzheimer's and old age entered into their love story. Howard has trouble seeing, so he touches Mildred's arm periodically, always staying by her side.

"He still watches over her, even though he can't see and everything," said Charlotte Betts. "He's right there for everything she does."

The NOW asked the couple -- what's the secret to their longevity?

"Not to be under each other's feet for years," said Mildred Betts. "Do your own thing."

The couple had five children and are great-great-grandparents.

Copyright 2016 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.