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Secret recipe for 72-year marriage is commitment, chicken

Fred and Betty Abdon keep their 72-year marriage strong with a weekly date at Chick-fil-A. Submitted Photo
Chick-fil-A gifts couple ‘surprise’

Fried chicken may be the secret to a long and happy marriage.

Betty and Fred Abdon, a 72-year-strong couple at Lutheran SeniorLife’s St. John Community, recently were gifted a VIP lunch at Chick-fil-A to celebrate their commitment to love, each other — and fried chicken.

“This all started because of COVID. We couldn’t go into Chick-fil-A to sit and eat, so we started eating in our car, and we still continue to do it as of today,” Betty, 92, said. “Every Monday, we go there, go to the drive-through, get our sandwich and dessert and something to drink, and we sit there and watch the birds and the snow and the rain.”

Betty said they chose Chick-fil-A simply because, hailing from Kentucky, they love fried chicken.

“It just got us out of the apartment, and we just liked it,” she said. “Chick-fil-A has been a favorite of ours, and I don’t care how many Chick-fil-As you eat, the one you’re eating always tastes like the first one.”

According to Harold Aughton, Lutheran SeniorLife’s director of system marketing and residential facilities management, the center discovered their routine while interviewing them for a Valentine’s Day story.

“As we were ending the interview, Fred said, ‘Well, and we’re still dating,’” Aughton said.

Fred, 93, told Aughton about their weekly dates at Chick-fil-A, and the center posted their story on Facebook and Instagram.

“We tagged Chick-fil-A in the story,” Aughton said. “And the next day, Chick-fil-A reached out to us, wanting to give them a surprise.”

Betty said they still are not certain what the surprise is, only that it will happen March 20, during their regular Monday noon date time.

“We’ll see; they might have something special for us,” Betty said. “I just know they want to pick us up, and they want to bring us home, and they want us to go in the restaurant and eat.”

The 72-year-strong couple was recently gifted a VIP lunch at Chick-fil-A to celebrate their love and commitment. Submitted Photo
A lesson in love

Aughton said there is a lesson to be learned in how Fred and Betty love each other.

“It shows how love can last a lifetime,” Aughton said. “Love is ageless. It has no boundaries.”

The secret, according to Betty, is simply sharing in life together.

“It’s the give-and-take in the love that we have for each other,” Betty said. “When one’s hurt, we’re both hurt; when one’s sick, we’re both sick. We’ve just done everything together.”

This, Betty said, has made all the difference.

“I think we stand out and let people know that you can be married 72 years and still love each other and want to be together with each other,” she said.

Their hope, as they await their big date, is that their story reminds others of the importance of commitment.

“You know, God put you together and made you as one, and you should stay together,” Betty said. “So, maybe we might inspire people to do like we did — to stay together.”

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