POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (KTVU) - A New York couple celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary on Monday with a vow renewal ceremony held at their nursing home.
The ceremony and reception for Karl and Elizabeth Gfatter were held at River Valley Care Center in Poughkeepsie. Residents and staff helped to put the special day together by creating decorations and turning the center's dining room into a chapel. Staff even helped the bride and groom with physical therapy to allow them to have a "first dance".
Karl, 94, and Elizabeth, 91, lived in the same apartment building as children and began dating as teenagers, after having their first date at an ice cream parlor.
Right after Elizabeth graduated high school, they ran away to Virginia to elope in 1941. "They didn't want us to get married yet, they thought we were to young," Elizabeth says. They later had a church wedding in New York City.
Karl's father was so sure the marriage wouldn't last that he offered him $100 if they made it to their first anniversary. Karl says he paid in cash.
Seventy five years later and the couple is still going strong.
Karl served in World War II and was present on Omaha Beach during the Normandy invasion in 1944. Karl would later go on to serve for a South Bronx fire department for 35 years and Elizabeth worked as an elevator operator.
They had one daughter together, Lorelei, who passed away last year.
Elizabeth says love, honesty, and being good to each other is what has gotten them to this special day.