Fountain View Village administrator Elisabeth George offered marriage advice June 12 at a luncheon attended by 22 couples.

“You don’t focus on marrying the right person. You focus on being the right person in your marriage,” she said.

Most likely her audience knew survival techniques of long-term marriages. All the guests had observed at least 50 years or more of marriage.

“Marriage back in the early 1900s was very different, as far as how marriage is approached now,” said George. Her grandparents impacted her views on marriage, she added.

“What really makes marriage work? I really think it’s not about having a deep commitment but an acknowledgement of expectations of life.”

Accepting the fact that “you’re going through life no matter what happens…the ins and the outs,” she added. Knowing when to “pick your battles” is wise.

Her suggestion: “Don’t sweat the small stuff and that is how you make marriage work.”

Dr. Howard Linville and his wife, Millie, formerly of Kansas City, Mo., were honored as the couple married the longest – 70 years.

Millie recalled meeting Howard at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kansas City where she worked as a lab technician and he was an intern.

“He constantly was making excuses to come to the lab,” she said.

Their marriage produced three daughters, all of whom married husbands with the first name of Robert; six grandchildren and one great-grand daughter. They expect the birth of a great-grandson in September.

Several have followed Howard’s footsteps into medical professions. The Linvilles have lived in Fountain View Village for 5-½ years. Thirty couples living in the senior complex have been married 50 or more years, said Teri Larson, resident program director.

Liz and Dale Gegner were the youngest of the couples to marry. She was 15 years old and he was 18 on their wedding day, July 22, 1953.

The oldest couple to marry among the guests was Phyllis and George Chelovitz. They have been married 57 years.