• Sweet life: Hershey's chocolate key to Illinois couple's 79-year marriage

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    GENESEO, Illinois - After 79 years of marriage, an Illinois couple are still living a sweet life.

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    Curtis Peters and Virginia Gregory were married in Knoxville, Iowa, on May 18, 1940, according to Iowa marriage records on Ancestry.com. Curtis Peters is now 100, and Virginia Peters is 103, and they celebrated their anniversary last week. 

    Their hearts have melted ever since their marriage, and they share a Hershey’s chocolate daily, according to WQAD.

    “Chocolate keeps him going, and he keeps her going, they love each other very much,” the couple’s daughter, Susan Peters Cathoir, told the television station.

    The couple moved from Iowa to a nursing home in Illinois to be closer to Cathoir, the fourth of the Peters’ five children. Cathoir told “Today” there was always chocolate around the home when she was growing up. Cathoir said her parents even melted Hershey’s bars so the family could dip their ice cream into the chocolate.

    The couple even took the family on a bus trip from Iowa to Pennsylvania in the late 1950s to visit Hershey Park (now Hersheypark) to see how their favorite sweet was made, according to “Today.”

    The couple met while living in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where they attended the Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Iowa). After their marriage, Curtis Peters was a self-employed painter in Waterloo, while Virginia Peters was a teacher, WQAD reported.

    “It’s a long, long time, but they are good times,” Virginia Peters told the television station.

    The Peters’ children bring chocolate whenever they visit.

    "I keep a pack in the freezer and go and give them one every day.” Cathoir told “Today.” I always leave chocolate in their drawer so in case I can't make it or I'm late, one of the (nurses) can make sure they still get it.”

    Cathoir said the Hershey’s bar keeps her father alive, “and he keeps her alive.”

    "He shares it with her all the time — he shares everything with her and she with him,” Cathoir told “Today.”

    “Yes, and they are still madly in love, isn’t that great?” their nurse, Julie Derick, told WQAD. “They hold hands all the time.”

    The couple celebrated their 79th anniversary last weekend with family and friends, the television station reported. Chocolate was definitely on the menu.

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