Valentines for life: Milford couple married 66 years
Spider-Man, the Grammy Awards and the hula-hoop haven’t been around as long as Milford’s Liz and Herb Gabel have been married.
The pair, married for 66 years, are new residents at Milford Place retirement community. They’re both 88 years old, but Liz is the eldest.
“She’s two months older than I am, so I can call her the old lady,” Herb said jokingly.
Originally hailing from Pennsylvania, the two have made the First State their home for 50 years. Liz has slight dementia, which is why the couple decided to move to Milford Place in December, her husband said.
Yet the Gabels can’t escape their Pennsylvania roots, which is where they first met on a blind date. At the time, Liz was a freshman at Pottstown Hospital School of Nurses.
“The senior class all wanted to go to this big party, which was a charitable/formal thing. Everyone was trying to get everyone lined up and they ended up with too many guys,” she said. “Since I had no date, I was told I was going to go with this guy from Philadelphia. Well, Herb ended up being the guy from Philadelphia. But he wasn’t from there.”
Herb’s originally from Pottstown, not that it mattered. “He’s just one wonderful guy. He’s easy to get along with,” Liz said.
After a few years of dating, while Liz was still in nursing school, Herb popped the question. But they had to wait to get married or Liz would get in trouble.
“I got her pregnant, which wasn’t allowed at that time. If [her college professors] would’ve known at that time she was pregnant, she would’ve gotten thrown out of nursing school,” Herb said. “She graduated on one day and we got married the next. We ended up with four children and have been together for 66 years.”
Herb worked as a handyman at Delaware Technical Community College in Dover, before transferring to the Georgetown location where he retired. Liz retired as a nursing instructor at Del Tech in Georgetown.
Among the keys to their long marriage, Liz said, is that Herb always had a steady job and he’s kind. Meanwhile, Herb said their relationship has remained strong because he never believed in laying hands on a woman and “we never go to bed angry.”