Couple’s secrets to 60 years of happy marriage and long life

LaRee and Heber Jones celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary at the same spot they met six decades ago, Forever Young Fine Jewelers, St. George, Utah, Oct. 12, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Megan Young, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A couple who met in the 1950s recently celebrated their diamond anniversary of 60 years at the same spot they met over six decades ago in downtown St. George.

LaRee and Heber Jones greet guests at their 60th wedding anniversary, Forever Young Fine Jewelers, St. George, Utah, Oct. 12, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Megan Young, St. George News
LaRee and Heber Jones greet guests at their 60th wedding anniversary, Forever Young Fine Jewelers, St. George, Utah, Oct. 12, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Megan Young, St. George News

Friends and family gathered on the evening of Oct. 12 at Forever Young Fine Jewelers, previously known as McArthur Jewelers, to celebrate the long and storied marriage of LaRee and Heber Jones.

In 1953, when LaRee Jones was just 16 years old, her work ethic as a car hop caught the eye of Tom McArthur Sr., a jeweler who was looking for someone to run his store. McArthur hired her and showed her how to run the store.

As her first day of training came to a close, McArthur asked her to “put the rocks away,” jeweler lingo for placing the wedding rings into the safe for the night. Impressed with her quick adaptation to the job, McArthur asked LaRee Jones to come in the next day and run the store on her own “for a little while.” She agreed, thinking a little while couldn’t mean more than a couple hours.

After giving her the key to the store, he said “I’ll see you in 10 days.”

Nervous and a little overwhelmed, LaRee Jones said she was not one to shirk in her duties and she went about cleaning and organizing the store to the best of her ability. It was then, she said, a handsome young man in neat Levis and a white T-shirt walked in.

Friends and family mingle at LaRee and Heber Jones' 60th wedding anniversary, Forever Young Fine Jewelry, St. George, Utah, Oct. 12, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Megan Young, St. George News
Friends and family mingle at LaRee and Heber Jones’ 60th wedding anniversary, Forever Young Fine Jewelry, St. George, Utah, Oct. 12, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Megan Young, St. George News

“Can I help you?” she asked.

The man said “no,” and instead walked directly behind the counter.

“Stop right there,” she insisted.

He kept walking.

“You take another step, and I call the police,” LaRee Jones said as she picked up the phone.

“Tom asked me to stop in and see how you’re doing,” the young Heber Jones said.

A cousin of McArthur, he was asked to check in on LaRee Jones.

That marked the beginning of what would become a blossoming romance and eventually lead to marriage, six children and many grandchildren.

Marriage Success Secrets

Sixty years of commitment did not come without its struggles, but the Joneses said their life together has been one of joy.

Friends and family mingle at LaRee and Heber Jones' 60th wedding anniversary, Forever Young Fine Jewelry, St. George, Utah, Oct. 12, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Megan Young, St. George News
Friends and family mingle at LaRee and Heber Jones’ 60th wedding anniversary, Forever Young Fine Jewelry, St. George, Utah, Oct. 12, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Megan Young, St. George News

“Yes, there have been bumps,” Heber Jones said.

However, the couple said, they always made it over those bumps through a combination of commitment, laughter and patience.

“Make a commitment and stick with it even when you sometimes feel like you shouldn’t,” Heber Jones said. “Most things eventually work things out if you stay with it.”

LaRee Jones said it is important that couples enjoy one another’s company and talked about the “sheer pleasure” she gets when she’s with her husband.

“I think we just truly love each other. We’ve always maintained that marriage gets better every year we live it,” LaRee Jones said.

What the Future Holds

“We’re hoping for another 10,” Heber Jones said.

The Joneses said good genetics have kept them healthy through the years – as well as a diet that includes homegrown fruits and vegetables.

Staying active and lifelong learning are especially important keys to longevity, Heber Jones said.

If she regrets anything, LaRee Jones said they would have liked to get more sleep and said it should be a priority for newlywed couples.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: jwitham@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Posted in Life, Local, NewsTagged , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Leave a Reply