Couple celebrates 75th anniversary on Valentine’s Day

Russel and Carol Brandsma met in 1941 and have been married since 1945.

They met when Carol was heading to a roller derby with a girlfriend.

Carol told Fox 4 News Kansas City, “He just kept on walking with me and wanted to know where I was going, and he said, ‘Well, why don’t you come to the roller derby with me next week?’” she recalled. “I had never in my life been out with a boy.”

Russel enlisted in the Navy after the attacks on Pearl Harbor shortly after they started seeing each other, but when he returned home, the two decided to get married.

“There was no one else. I just wanted to marry her, and we got along very well together,” Russell said to Fox 4 News.

What is their secret? They say, family, faith, and service are the foundation of their long marriage.

“Having those things motivate you to do more really for the community and for God,” he said.

The couple has four children, six grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.

“I love her and will love her until the day we are called home to be with the Lord,” Russell said, holding his wife’s hand.