Abilene couple celebrates 72nd anniversary


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- A.J. and Bobbie Draper have been married since 1948, and on Thursday evening they celebrated their 72nd anniversary with their loved ones.

“Just always keep your kids close to you if you can. Don’t let anything come between you and them, and stay together,” said Bobbie Draper.

Their five children say that together A.J. and Bobbie were role models in their community by being foster parents, providing in-home care for adults in need, and they might have found the ever so elusive secret to love.

“Opening their home to children who are disadvantaged, or to adults with intellectual disabilities,” said A.J. and Bobbie’s youngest daughter Angela Medina.

“If you really cherish, you really love something, you really value something, and you put in the hard work, it’ll flourish,” said A.J. and Bobbie’s granddaughter Hannah Medina.

“They’ve always said don’t ever go to bed mad. Settle your differences before you go to bed,” said A.J. and Bobbie’s second oldest daughter Jane Hickman.

Their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren traveled from all over the state of Texas, and some from Arkansas, to be in Abilene for the celebration.

“For us to be able to get together like this even if it’s just once or twice a year, it’s fantastic,” said Hickman.

“Getting to see them is even more meaningful as time goes by, because we don’t know how much longer we’ll have them, so we want to take advantage of it and get to spend it with them as much as we can,” said Angela Medina.

After being together for over seven decades, A.J. and Bobbie said being honest with each other and loving their children went a long way.

“It seems like a long time back for some people, but we remember 48, and 58, and 68, and 78, and 88, and it just get better,” said Bobbie Draper.

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