Love spans four decades

Mary and Bob Devereux share a cuppa together every day.
Picture: Matt Jelonek       d449508
Mary and Bob Devereux share a cuppa together every day. Picture: Matt Jelonek     d449508

The pair will celebrate their 44th Valentine’s Day together next week, and despite now living in separate homes within the aged-care facilty, the nonagenarians’ love for each other endures.

The Devereuxs moved to the Bentley Park retirement village about 25 years ago. While 95-year-old Mr Devereux continues to live in their home in the village, 96-year-old Mrs Devereux now has higher care needs so has moved a short distance away into a high care centre.

Despite this, they still spend as much time as they can with each other; Bob visits the care centre to see Mary every day.

You could say the pair were well ahead of their time, meeting through a dating agency well before the days of online dating.

“My first wife passed away from melanoma, we had been married for 27 years and Mary had also been married before for many years,” Mr Devereux said.

“It’s hard to meet people later in life, because everyone you know is married and have their own lives. So I met Mary through Cynthia’s, which was a match-making agency.

“Mary was the third lady I met and we married less than a year later on April 8, 1972.”

The pair have seven children between them, 22 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

After so many years together, they say the secret to wedded bliss was pretty simple.

“We appreciate each other and we’re tolerant,” Mr Devereux said. “We’ve never had much money but we’ve had enough to keep us happy.

Mrs Devereux had a few other tips to add in too.

“We have a row every now and then and that’s normal. We both have things we enjoy doing; I have my books and Bob has his cross-stitch, which is good for his concentration,” she said.

“It’s been a long marriage, and it’s also a case of looking after yourself, washing your face each night and taking your vitamins.”

SwanCare chief executive Graham Francis said couples like Bob and Mary showed what Valentine’s Day is really all about: showing your love for each other every day.

“Many of our residents are a little bemused by the modern concept of Valentine’s Day, maybe because they know the real secrets to relationship longevity is about simple things,” he said.