Despite being married an amazing 70 years, Tom and Barbara Ludlow, both 88 years of age, sometimes disagree.
For instance, when quizzed on the secrets of enjoying such a long lasting union, Barbara thought for a few moments, before replying, “Appreciation, you must be thankful for what the two of you have together.”
Tom answered, “Patience and determination ... there must be purpose and resolve.”
Both agreed, however, a marriage for the ages, like theirs, is one in which the husband and wife always honor their vows of unconditional love.
For the Ludlows, those nuptials were exchanged Aug. 1, 1948 in a Tolleson Methodist church ministered by Tom’s grandfather, who married the two high school sweethearts.
Tom is a native Arizonan, but Barbara spent her early years in Ohio before the family moved to Arizona.
Following the marriage, the pair took on the challenge of their chosen professions with the same dedication and zeal they had as man and wife.
Barbara found a job at First National Bank (now Wells Fargo) and eventually rose to become an officer before retiring after 34 years of highly accomplished service.
Tom was equally as dedicated working as a product development tester for the conglomerate International Harvester.
In marriage, the two raised three sons who they hope will visit this week for a reunion celebration and much-anticipated family gathering.
“It’s been a long time since we have all been together. I am looking forward to it,” Barbara said.
The reunion takes place at the couple’s Strawberry home where they have lived for 28 years.
But before the family assembles, there was a festive lunch with friends on Friday at the Pine-Strawberry Senior Center and on Sunday a worship service and reception at the Strawberry Chapel.
The festive week has been a whirlwind of activity, but the pair wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We want to spend what time we have left together with family and friends. Having good times,” Tom said.
And that’s what the past week has been all about for the Ludlows.