Naperville couple living at Monarch Landing celebrates 70th wedding anniversary

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On October 10, Naperville residents Joe and Jean Stubits reached a milestone that few couples can match. The longtime lovebirds, who live at Monarch Landing retirement community, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

Data from the United States Census Bureau shows that just 0.1 percent of marriages last that long. But by prioritizing communication and compromise, the Stubitses have been side-by-side for seven decades.

“Sometimes, it’s not easy,” said Jean. “You still get angry at times. And it’s not all anger- it’s more somebody makes a remark, you don’t like it, you go back and forth a little bit. But then we settle down and talk about it.”

“To me, that’s what I love about her,” said Joe. “We both make adjustments, but for 70 years this lady had done it.”

From the dance floor to down the aisle

Joe and Jean were first introduced at a dance in New Jersey.  At the time, Joe was a lieutenant in the Airborne Rangers and could only see Jean on weekends. Still, they made the most of their time together and eventually got engaged.

Shortly thereafter, Joe was picked to be a contestant on an NBC game show titled “The Big Payoff”, where he won several prizes for his then-fiancé, including a trip to Florida.

“In fact, they offered her a wedding gown, but she already had that. But she got the tiara and the veil,” Joe said.

Now that they had everything they needed to start their life together, the couple wasted no time in tying the knot when the Korean War came to a close in 1953.

“The war ended on the 28th of July, and I got discharged on October 7th, and we were married three days later,” Joe said.

The Stubitses moved to Glen Ellyn in 1970 for Joe’s work, and have lived in the area ever since.

Anniversary for the ages

For eight years now, Monarch Landing has been Joe and Jean’s home.

More than one hundred fellow residents helped them celebrate seventy years of marriage earlier this month, when the retirement community hosted an anniversary party for the happy couple.

“It was fun. It was sweet. I can’t even remember everybody that came up and greeted us and talked to us and we got so many cards and different kinds of greetings,” said Jean. “It was just beautiful.”

The Stubitses also plan to recognize the landmark anniversary by going on a family cruise with their son, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

“I just am so grateful for her, because when the going gets tough, the tough get going,” said Joe. “You’re just the top of the line, honey.”

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