TUCSON, Ariz. - Jim and Noni Saunders just celebrated their 80th anniversary on Saturday – making them one of the longest-married couples in the U.S.

Like any couple that has been together that long, Jim and Noni have their secrets to success:

“It takes two to make a marriage work,” Noni said, “Two martinis a night.”

Jim and Noni met on a blind date in 1935. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had just signed the Social Security Act, Mickey Mouse appeared in his first color cartoon and gas was 10 cents a gallon.

Jim was 18 at the time and worked for United Parcel while Noni, 16, was still in high school.

“He was a good dancer,” Noni recalled.

“She was a very sweet girl,” Jim said.

Noni and Jim Saunders in their dating days.
Noni and Jim Saunders in their dating days.

Dancing turned into more dates, and a year later, the couple married.

The two have had their challenges, like the time when they had an argument where Jim “would not shut up. He had to have the last word,” Noni remembered.

She “quietly let him have the last word” and took their car to a local motel.

Jim said he walked four miles to his office to get the company car and checked all motels in town.

“I went to the office and said, ‘What unit is Mrs. Saunders in?’ and they told me. So I knocked on the door and we spent a blissful night,” Jim said with a big smile.

Now Mr. and Mrs. Saunders live comfortably in Tucson, enjoying golf, bridge and dancing. Their two sons have winter homes in the area.