Story and Photos Courtesy of The Retreat at Alameda

Meet James and Marge Duvall. They recently celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary. Their story is one of love, devotion, hard work, and dedication.

James and Marge grew up a small town in Northern Kansas with a population of 300. They met in grade school; James was in the third grade and Marge was in the fourth. They started dating in high school and got engaged at 17.

James was being shipped overseas to Okinawa so they decided to get married in the short leave he had before heading off. Once married, Marge stayed with her family back in Kansas.

After he returned, life took them in many parts of the country; first in Nebraska, then off to Oregon, and finally Arizona. James worked as an engineer and Marge earned her degree from NAU at 41 and taught school for 22 years until retirement. James retired from the State of Arizona working as an engineer.

One of the funny stories they shared in their travels was running out of money when the were moving to Oregon so they stayed in Idaho for a week and worked for a potato farmer picking up potatoes that had fallen off the truck. They agree that they “definitely earned their money” that week and Marge says that her back never hurt so much.

The Duvalls have three kids (Denise, Kim and James), three grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Denise lives in Phoenix, Kim lives in Oregon, and James (Jim) lives in Flagstaff.

James and Marge say the key to their happiness and longevity is a few points.

“My buddies would want me to go have a beer after work, and I said, ‘I can go home and have a beer with my wife,’” James recalls. “We both got our pilots license together, we hunted and fished together, rode motorcycles, we tried it all, even went shooting together, and Marge is a better shot than me.”

The other key to their success in marriage was financial. They never bought things without having the money for it. The saved for all their purchases and James even worked on planes to be able to buy three of them for them to fly. Investing also helped them; they would use money earned to make property investments that then turned into profit along the way.

Now both residents at The Retreat at Alameda, they share that they are grateful for their wonderful life together and have no regrets.