By Kathleen Swift • Photos by Mandy Edmonson

When Buzz Ball and Lanette Mahle were married in 1978, it was a marriage destined to be forever. Lanette’s father officiated at their wedding, and following the ceremony, Lanette’s grandfather said, “Well, Howard didn’t marry them, he welded them.”

Buzz said, “We went into marriage with just two things in mind: first, divorce would not be an option. Second, we would be married for 78 years since we were married in 1978. We are well on our way to both of our goals.”

Their secret to a long and happy marriage is listening and taking an interest in each other’s lives. “Compromising is a huge part of the secret of success. We both have our separate interests, but to be with each other as much as possible, we will sometimes join in each other’s activities. However, alone time also is very important, and we both recognize that need. We went into the marriage for the long haul with no mention of divorce. If you go into a marriage with divorce as an option, you won’t work as hard to keep it together,” said Buzz.

Balancing work and home life has also been vital; although, difficult at times. “The key is supporting each other’s career choices and having the opportunity to give and take,” said Buzz. “Lanette, as a special education instructor, would have to bring her work home a lot. While Lanette was working, I would do things that would free her up so she could do her work, like fixing dinner. My job in the newspaper industry was so erratic that we didn’t know exactly when I would be home. Lanette would make sure that I was taken care of with meals and lots of love. I love Lanette’s willingness to support me in all of my endeavors. Her love for me is ever present in her smile and her beautiful voice over the phone. She makes me feel loved and appreciated.”

Lanette said, “I love Buzz’s positive attitude and his ability to make others happy. I also admire him for not letting his speech difficulty stop him from doing anything. I also love him because he makes me feel loved. He is the best person I know, and I’m happy that I am the one who gets to live my life with him.”

The couple has a daughter, Emily, and a son, Jeremy, who is married to Amber. They have twin grandsons, Adian and Noah, who can do no wrong in their grandparents’ eyes. 

“Our love for each other grows in ways we didn’t think possible when we got married. Each day brings new challenges and new opportunities to take care of each other. In 43 years of marriage, we’ve never missed a day without saying I love you to each other,” said Buzz. “We may have been physically apart, but we always talked to each other and would mention our love many times daily. The longer we live with each other, the more we want to be a part of each other. We haven’t gotten tired of each other yet. You might say we are perfect for each other!”

See more photos in the February 2022 print edition.