NEW SHARON — Elliott and Marilyn Powers have some advice for married couples this Valentine's Day.
“Take each day as it comes. If you disagree and there will be some disagreements, stop and think it over,” Marilyn, 86, said as she and her husband of 70 years sat together recently in their home off Route 2.
Elliott, 87, agreed with her.
“One day at a time and enjoy it,” he said.
The couple, who celebrated their milestone anniversary in November, say it takes love, respect and work.
Their lifelong relationship began in high school. They lived three miles apart, she in Farmington and he in Farmington Falls, when they started dating.
"He would go to the dances in Fayette and he asked me to go," she said. "There was a pretty girl there with brown eyes. He would dance with her and me. Then she disappeared from the picture."
"She twisted my arm," Elliott joked of his attraction to Marilyn.
After school, Elliott enlisted in the Marines and served for 2½ years. They married before he left. Time was spent at several stations across the southern United States but he settled on a base in Arkansas.
Marilyn said perhaps one of the hardest times for her was being here alone with a young son, Rodney, and a new baby, Judy.
In the years after his military service the two worked together on their farm in Industry and later in Elliott's electrical motor shop and the trailer park they bought and expanded on Maple Avenue in Farmington.
They also enjoyed dancing and snowmobiling.
"We'd ride the trails and get stuck. It was lots of fun," she said. They are members of the Maine Snowmobile Association and the New Sharon Snow Riders Club.
Along with tending animals, Elliott also started logging.
When he contracted a mild case of polio, his back and hips couldn't take the work so the couple moved to Farmington and he worked in his electrical motor shop on Maple Avenue. The Silver Maple Lane trailer park was next door to their shop, a perfect investment, she said of the 30 years they owned it.
He belonged to Odd Fellows and she to the Rebekahs. He is also a 65-year Mason, she said. They both participated in Grange.
When he started pulling horses at events across the state, Marilyn got involved eventually and was secretary of the Maine Draft Horse and Oxen Association, a position she held for 12 years until she was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2006, she said.
When each suffered illnesses, the other was there.
"We're pretty much together," she said. "I know you just like a book," she added.
The couple have two children, Rodney Powers, now in Florida, and Judy Fairbanks of Industry, four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
This past November, the couple marked their 70 years of marriage with a special celebration with Elliott's brother Basil Powers and his wife, Harriet, who were observing their 60th anniversary, she said.