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‘Wow, look at him!’: Bend couple reflects on highs and lows of marriage as they hit 59 years together

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- In a world of dating apps and reality TV shows, there's a timeless story of long-lasting love to tell this Valentine's week at Brookdale Bend, a senior living community.

Glenn and Wanda Floyd of Bend have been married for 59 years. They first met at a mutual friend's wedding in June of 1964. Five short months later, they celebrated a wedding of their own, on November 13, 1964.

The couple had a whirlwind romance. Glenn was 21 and Wanda 17 when they met.

"Well, when you start out, I think it's more amorous," Wanda Floyd said Monday. "Now, it's just deep love."

Five months together turned into 59 years together, including the "blessing of two kids, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren," Wanda Floyd recounted Monday.

Wanda said the first time she laid eyes on Glenn, she was "gob-smacked." She said she elbowed a girlfriend at the time and said, "Wow, look at him!"

Through nearly 60 years of marriage, Wanda and Glenn have been by each other's side through every high and low of their lives. No matter how hard things got, the couple always prioritized mutual respect and forgiveness with each other.

On the topic of reconciliation, Wanda said the best advice she has is to "forgive. A lot of times, you don't forget, but you gotta forgive to move forward." She added, "You fight, just like everyone else, but life goes on."

Originally from Northern California, near Lassen Volcanic National Park, the Floyds spent their summers outdoors camping with friends and exploring a variety of states across the US, including the East Coast and Alaska.

Now, Wanda and Glenn spend their days at Brookdale Senior Living. Glenn suffers from dementia, so their dynamic has evolved, with Wanda taking over caregiving duties, despite health problems of her own before moving to Brookdale.

Wanda comes to see Glenn every day, to check on him and enjoy each other's company. They spend their time resting, reminiscing and focusing on the positives.

And the humor.

"About the only way I could get rid of her is to marry her," he said at her side Monday, bringing another hearty laugh from his love.

Talking about how Glenn's dementia has impacted their marriage, Wanda tearily said, "It just breaks my heart to see him like this. It’s not something we had planned."

Glenn and Wanda's marriage represents loyalty, strength and perseverance. Their commitment to each other is long-lasting and inspiring. One of the biggest takeaways from the example they set is how they hold respect toward one another in high regard.

"You have to have respect for each other from the beginning," said Wanda, "You have to truly love somebody.”

Wanda said the key to success in love and marriage is accepting your partner's shortcomings, without judging or holding it against them.

At a recent Brookdale function, Glenn serenaded his lifetime love.

"I want a girl, just like the girl who married dear old dad," he sang.

On Valentine's Day, the Floyds plan to have a simple meal together and may attend celebrations with other residents at Brookdale Senior Living.

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Matthew Draxton

Matthew Draxton is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Matthew here.


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