ARCADIA, Calif. (KABC) -- A military couple from Arcadia may have the secret to a happy and long-lasting relationship, and a good sense of humor may be a key!
Art and Alice Del Rey have been together for more than eight decades. The longtime lovebirds tied the knot at the height of World War II, which meant he was away from home during those newlywed years.
But that only made their relationship stronger.
"She grabbed me, she said, 'I'm snatching this guy,'" recalled Art with a smile. "She had competition."
Art, who was born in Pasadena, will soon be celebrating his 100th birthday. Alice was born in New Mexico. The two met as children because they were neighbors.
"He came from a big family. We were just three of us sisters, and so it was kind of nice to see all these seven boys in the family, you know?" said Alice. "'Which one you like? You can pick one out!' and I just happened to pick this one, and I made the best choice."
Now, Art and Alice are celebrating 81 years as a couple.
Alice said Art has always been a good husband and father, and said their sense of humor together has continued to make them laugh all these years.
Art, a Navy veteran, did his basic training in San Diego. He was transferred to Oklahoma and then went to bombardier school. He has memories serving in WWII, flying into enemy territory, dropping his first bomb on a Japanese submarine and rescuing men lost at sea, which has earned him a medal.
But through his service and near-death experiences, the one constant in his life was returning home to Alice.
"It was a big worry, having him away like that, but I always knew that he was going to be tough and that he would be wanting to come home," said Alice.
Art and Alice have four children, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
"Seeing the longevity of my parents' marriage and my in-laws marriage was a good example for us," said the couple's oldest daughter, Barbara Darazio.
So what is the secret to a happy and long-lasting marriage? Art and Alice stress the importance of getting along and having a sense of humor. But Alice joked: a big diamond doesn't hurt!