ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) –  A New Mexico couple just celebrated their 81st year of marriage. 81 years after saying “I Do” Celestino and Josefita Candelaria still look at each other just like the first day they met.

The couple grew up in Arabella, New Mexico, a small town between Roswell and Ruidoso. Years later their families moved to Greenlee, Arizona. Le Roy Candelaria is the son of Celestino and Josefita and said it was July 24, 1942 when his mom gave her hand in marriage to his dad. A short while later that love grew into a family.

In all, the couple added eight children to the family, with their oldest daughter now 80-years-old and their youngest daughter 56. Josefita and Celestino were surrounded by their now large family as they celebrated 81 years of marriage. “We had a dinner at the house and invited family to come over, there were grandchildren, great grandchildren not a big party but a smaller one,” said Candelaria.

Le Roy said his parents never gave up on their marriage and lived by three things, which could be their secret to a successful marriage. “There’s three things that stand out the most, number 1 patience, they’ve had tons of patience, tolerance and unconditional love,” said Candelaria. The Candelaria’s have 20 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren and 22 great-great grandchildren.