It was love at first sight in 1940 for Keith Reynolds when he first laid eyes on Wanda Smith
"Somehow I knew I met the woman of my life," he said.
The now 88-year-old Raytown resident is celebrating a milestone with the same woman he married on Nov. 23, 1942, in Henry County, MO.
The two were joined by family and friends at First Baptist Church of Raytown on Saturday for what some may call a 70-year miracle.
What is their secret to seven decades of marriage?
"You have to cooperate. There is a lot of give and a lot of take," 88-year-old Wanda Reynolds said.
And helping to finish her sentence, like her husband is sometimes known for doing, Keith adds, "It is more give than take. And to take care of me like she does, she would have to love me."
They also say there is a lesson here to be learned between the couple.
"If you treat each other with respect and kindness, you get that back in return," she said.
And that is what Keith and Wanda have done over the years.
Keith met Wanda two days before she turned 16 on July 14, 1940. The two dated when they could until they married Nov. 23, 1942.
Their marriage happened very suddenly. Keith said they didn't have a pastor after Wanda's minister came down with cancer. But thanks to his father, he knew of a pastor in Clinton, MO.
So the two traveled to the pastor's home on a Monday night and joined hands in marriage.
Keith grew up on a farm outside of Clinton with his brother and two sisters. Wanda lived not too far from him in Deepwater, MO, with her sister and six brothers. Over the next 30 years, the two would work to support each other and eventually raise a family.
In 1973, the couple moved their family to Raytown, raising 10 children. They have 22 grandchildren and 44 great-grandchildren. They currently live in the same home 40 years later.
Before Keith retired, he worked at Allis-Chalmers, a Gleaner manufacturing company in Independence that made the first self-propelled combine harvesters. He also served his community as an area pastor for many years.
He was a Baptist minister for several years, including Faith Baptist Church, a small North Kansas City church on North Brighton Avenue. He also pastored in Excelsior Springs at Excelsior Springs Baptist Temple.
When Keith was 85, he sat down at the computer and for many months he typed, while Wanda proofread his book, "Stephanie Grows Up."
He said it was inspiration from a story he heard on the news of a 93-year-old man that had written a book.
Keith's book was not good enough that a publisher wanted to print it, but he finished it, self-published it and has sold a few copies. He, like his family, is very proud of the book.
Wanda grew up in the grocery business. Her father owned Smith's Groceries in Deepwater, MO. She worked there until moving to Kansas City to start a family, where she would be a stay-at-home mom.
Over the years, the two have seen 19 U.S. presidents move into the White House. And during their courtship, the couple recalls gas at 11 cents and movies were only $1.
However, money was tight for the two while they were dating, and Wanda recalls enjoying their youth together with picnics and board games.
"I just seemed to like him, I guess," Wanda Reynolds said. "I love him."
And for those who have been touched by lives of the Reynolds, it is no wonder that the love the two have shared has endured for the last 70 years.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information on obituaries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends in Mid-Michigan. Death notices are displayed during theMore >
ObitMichigan.com is dedicated to delivering immediate, up-to-date information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to families and friends who have lost loved ones.More >
Wednesday, May 15 2013 2:57 PM EDT2013-05-15 18:57:11 GMT
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well. An Arizona bakery was featured on Friday's episode of the Gordon RamseyMore >
The old saying goes, "If you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen." Perhaps, this applies to Kitchen Nightmares, as well.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 2:44 PM EDT2013-05-17 18:44:51 GMT
By ED WHITE, Associated Press A Sanilac County woman gained the sympathy and admiration of her community as the subject of a newspaper's award-winning series about surviving rape. People and organizationsMore >
A Sanilac County woman gained the sympathy and admiration of her community as the subject of a newspaper's award-winning series about surviving rape. More >
Friday, May 17 2013 3:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 19:16:13 GMT
The Powerball jackpot is growing into record territory. No one matched Wednesday night's numbers and as of Thursday evening the jackpot stands at $550 million. The jackpot can be paid out as an annuityMore >
The Powerball jackpot has crossed into record territory as Saturday's jackpot now stands at $600 million.
Friday, May 17 2013 1:26 PM EDT2013-05-17 17:26:14 GMT
Earthquakes Canada is reporting a 5.1-magnitude earthquake just west of Ottawa that was felt as far away as Toronto. The federal agency that monitors earthquakes revised its original report, saying itMore >
Earthquakes Canada is reporting a 5.1-magnitude earthquake just west of Ottawa that was felt as far away as Toronto, Ann Arbor and Saginaw.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 1:50 PM EDT2013-05-17 17:50:19 GMT
A man charged with killing his own cousin has turned himself in to authorities. Saginaw Police said 21-year-old Derell Martin is accused of shooting Don'Dre Martin. The 19-year-old was gunned down whileMore >
A man charged with killing his own cousin has turned himself in to authorities.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 5:47 PM EDT2013-05-17 21:47:08 GMT
After proudly serving his country in two wars, an 86-year-old veteran is repaid by being attacked in his own home and held at gunpoint. And while robbers took off with some of the man's belongings, hisMore >
A man used to combat and decorated with a Purple Heart during the Korean War was thrown to the ground in his own home as thieves made off with TVs, guns and his ride.More >