War, poverty and success for Dee and Elaine Perkins

Southlake couple celebrates 72 years of love

SOUTHLAKE -- Dee and Elaine Perkins have a love story that has lasted more than 70 years.

Today, the Southlake couple is celebrating their 72nd wedding anniversary.

"Time has flown," said Dee.

"It's really hard to believe," said Elaine.

Dee is 92 and his wife Elaine is a radiant 90. The couple's son recently wrote to WFAA's media partners at the Star-Telegram to share their love story.

The Perkins are both in great health, with a remarkable history together. They met in 1943 at Louisiana College in Pineville when they were still teenagers.

"I think I noticed her first. She had platinum hair, and I don't think I had ever seen that," said Dee. "I went home that day and told my mother, I found the girl I'm going to marry."

They started dating, and then World War II got in the way. Dee joined the Air Force, and they wrote letters to each other every day.  Five days before Dee was deployed to Okinawa, he had a chance to visit home.

"That's when I realized, I had better marry this girl before I leave," he recalled. "I wanted to tie that up."

They got married, and then after the war, they started family.  They soon decided to leave Louisiana for a new start in Fort Worth, packing up with a small car, a 19-foot trailer and $200 in cash.  Eventually, they traded a trailer for tiny house that was little more than a converted garage, with no kitchen or indoor plumbing.

"It had an outdoor restroom," said Elaine.  "I called it a one-room inefficiency." 

They have seen all  sides of life.  With his wife's assistance, Dee started an airplane parts company and achieved tremendous financial success.  He retired just a few years ago when he was 86.

Dee turned in his pilot's license at age 85, but he and his wife still travel the world together and spend time with their four sons and six grandkids.  They still enjoy each other's company.

"So many people say, 'He's my best friend,' or 'She's my best friend,'" said Elaine.  "I think that applies to us."

Their shared life is founded on their strong faith in God and in each other.  Their love story stronger than ever after 72 years.

"A gift is just to be together," said Elaine.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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