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Houston couple shares special advice during 70th-anniversary parade

HOUSTON – Houston Fire Department helped a local couple celebrate a milestone 70 years in the making.

Along with family, friends, and neighbors, the fire department paraded by the home of Lionel and Grace Ann Russell in Sunnyside for a surprise celebration of their 70th wedding anniversary.

“June 3, 1950, was perhaps the happiest day of my life when I married this woman,” said Lionel. “She was a prize.”

They began their marriage with Lionel serving as an air mechanic in the Air Force. Their union produced six children, 12 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

The secret to success? They credit prayer, their faith in God, and talking to each other.

“We have problems just like everybody else,” said Grace Ann. “We have problems, but talk your problems out. Because that’s the only way you can do. Communicate.”

The couple has seen a lot over the years: inside their family and in this world.

The Russells said their church and neighborhood also have played big roles in their joyful union.

But who wears the pants in their marriage?

“We both wear them,” said Lionel. “I’m gonna be honest with you. Her pants are just as good as mine. Sometimes it’s better."

The Russells shared a piece of advice. They said people needed to start meeting and knowing their neighbors. Something they said was common 70 years ago.

They believe that simple step can open a lot of doors.


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