Deep in the Heart: 71 Years of Marriage and Counting - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Deep in the Heart

Deep in the Heart

A series of features exploring the different ways people love

Deep in the Heart: 71 Years of Marriage and Counting

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Joe and Lee Gorbett just celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary. Fate brought them together at an intersection in downtown Fort Worth. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017)

    If a picture's worth a thousand words, then the framed photos at Joe and Lee Gorbett's home could write their own novel.

    "Oh, it brings back old memories," said 95-year-old Joe Gorbett.

    "This is my favorite picture of Joe," said Joe's 91-year-old wife, Lee Gorbett.  "This is the way I'll always remember him. He was a good looking man."

    They met back in 1945. They call it fate.

    "Three girls in car and we saw him," Lee remembered.

    "I was stopped at a red light and they were right next to me," Joe chuckled.

    "Tall, good looking, really blue-eyed and he had a good looking car," Lee added. "So, we hollered at him and asked if he wanted to go dancing with us."

    "Yeah, that's true," Joe said. "That's a true story."

    "I had a date, but he filled in with this other girl that didn't have a date," Lee said. "But I danced with him and he got my phone number and he called later on."

    Six months later, after Joe wrapped up his service in the Air Force, they tied the knot.

    "We're married. We love one another, but we're buddies, too," Lee explained. "Just good buddies."

    Last month, they celebrated 71 years of marriage.

    "We've had fusses off and on," Lee recalled. "I'm not saying it was perfect."

    Life never is. Joe saw that firsthand during World War II where he was a tech sergeant in charge of keeping the planes flying.

    "I got the Bronze Star for doing that," he remembered.

    But if you ask him about his biggest achievement, he looks at his bride and smiles.

    "Something about her that I liked," he said.

    Lee will never forget their spontaneous wedding.

    "We just decided on a Friday night that we wanted to get married, so we got in a car with another couple and went up to Weatherford and got married. No ifs, ands or buts about it."

    They can still picture it, all these years later.

    "We've been blessed, we really have," Lee said. "It was just meant to be, that's just the way I look at it."

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