HOUSTON, February 9, 2018 – Millions of people around the world will soon celebrate Valentine’s Day. For one Houston couple, the day has a special meaning. It’s the day they tied the knot more than six decades ago. Jim and Rosalyn Huddleston, residents of Parkway Place senior living community, were married February 14, 1956, and will celebrate 62 years of love this year. But their trip to the altar was anything but ordinary. They both grew up in east Houston and lived down the street from each other. Jim was instantly attracted to Rosalyn when he saw her walking around the neighborhood. They later met during a group date, went out on a double date and then went out on their first real date. They immediately knew they were in love. About a year into their relationship, Rosalyn’s mother didn’t approve and wanted to send her off to an all-girls school. The couple decided the only way for them to stay together was to get married. Since Jim was 20 and Rosalyn was 17, they needed her mother’s permission to get married in Houston. They knew that wasn’t going to happen, so they drove to Crowley, Louisiana and eloped. Six decades later, the couple is more in love than ever.
“We wanted to be together and knew we were the ones for each other,” said Jim. “She came to me crying, and I worried if we didn’t get married then I would probably lose her. It was the best decision we could have made. After we got back, her family didn’t talk to us. Her mother even called the police. It wasn’t pretty. We were outcasts to her family since we eloped, but we became so close as a couple that it turned out to be the best thing to happen to us. Our bond grew, and we learned more about one another. Her mother finally came around about five years into our marriage after the birth of our first child. She realized we were in love, and I wasn’t going anywhere. Look at us now, 62 years together and these have been the best years of my life. We are joined at the heart strings, and we’ve been through it all. There is nothing that can come between us. We made it through the hardest times in our lives with just each other. Through good times and bad they say, and it made us into the strong couple we are today.”
The couple spent most of their married life in Alvin, Texas, southeast of Houston, with a short stint in Beaumont, Texas. Jim worked in the oil and gas field while Rosalyn was a nurse. They raised three kids and have three grandchildren and one great grandchild. After Jim retired in 1993, the couple never actually quit working. They started mission trips and went to work for the National Park Services. Later in life, they knew God wanted more out of them, so they went to Papua New Guinea where they stayed for two years. The couple helped with Bible translation. While volunteering overseas they spent time on a ship and worked in Granada. They enjoyed giving back to those in need. Less than a year ago, they moved into Parkway Place and enjoy spending time with each other.
“Everything Jim and I accomplished was together and with the Lord’s help, and I couldn’t imagine anyone else by my side,” said Rosalyn. “This is a special anniversary because we are in a new city and new home. I am thankful for our love. Love isn’t always easy, but when you have the right person in your life it sure does make it fun. It’s crazy to think that 62 years ago we got married without my mother’s permission, but I knew without Jim my life wouldn’t be complete. We complement each other and work well together. Our life hasn’t always been easy, but it’s never dull.”
“Jim and Rosalyn are godly people, and their love story is truly inspiring,” said Susan Phelps, executive director at Parkway Place. “Through all the ups and downs they stuck together as a couple. You don’t see that as much today. It’s a beautiful story that they have and it’s one that people can learn from. We love listening to them tell us how their love evolved, and how it made them into the people they are today. We are thankful they call Parkway Place home and know their love story is one of a kind.”
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