BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It is not often a couple celebrates 68 years of marriage. Ellis and Sylvia Peak, however, have made it this far and are still going strong.
They met at LSU in 1942 at the Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity house. He is a Baton Rouge-native and Sylvia is from Chattanooga, TN. Ellis says he was in a Navy College Training program (V7), like many other college juniors and seniors during WWII, and was sent to Georgia Tech to get his commission in the Navy.
They had a long-distance relationship until 1946. Ellis received his Navy commission and was on his way to the Pacific to begin his naval career. Ellis says Sylvia met him in Seattle, WA in 1946. On March 24 of that year, they were married at the Alpha Delta Phi house, right before he was sent to war to work as a minesweeper.
Ellis swept for mines during the time President Harry Truman ordered the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, Japan. Minesweepers are the first ships in an invasion to sweep the landing approaches in search of underwater mines.
After the war, Ellis and Sylvia set up house in Baton Rouge. They raised three children and Ellis eventually retired as a Chemical Engineer from Exxon.
Ellis and Sylvia have 10 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.
In all these years of marriage, Sylvia says her favorite gift from Ellis was two-dozen roses, however, neither of them remember why he gave her the flowers.
The happy couple plays Scrabble together every Wednesday, and rumors are Sylvia is really good. She plays Words with Friends with her family on her Kindle on a regular basis and usually wins.
Ellis plays golf at the Baton Rouge Country Club several times a week and square-dances with his daughter.
We wanted to know the secret to their long-lasting marriage. Ellis laughingly said, "just don't hold grudges and make sure to love each other." In the background during a phone interview, we hear Sylvia say, "he is my favorite person in the whole world."
According to the couple's granddaughter, Kristan, Sylvia says Ellis was the brains of the operation, but she also says, "you have to take turns putting up with each other. One person can't do it all."
Ellis told his daughter the secret is to roll with the punches and to remember that sometimes you're wrong.
Their family members all look up to them because of their positive outlook on life, how frequently they laugh, and because their love of family is so strong.