Benton Couple Celebrate 60th Wedding Anniversary

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By Evie Allen
By Randy Livingston

BENTON -- The Kinisons marked their 60th wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day . Their story is one of true love and devotion.

Robert and Winnie Kinison, of Benton, are spending this Valentine's Day celebrating their diamond anniversary. They met in West Frankfort in 1953. At the time, Robert's father was a pharmacist at the drug store where Winnie worked.

"That's how the whole thing started. He would take his Dad home and he would take me home," said Winnie.

But the two can't agree on who made the first move.

"Well it had to be him," said Winnie.

"She did," insisted Robert. "I remember because I was driving the car and she said, 'Oh I'm gonna sit by my honey."

Robert says he knew right away he wanted to marry Winnie. He proposed in 1954, after only four months of dating. But there was a slight problem. Winnie was 17 and Robert was 22.

"I was supposed to be 18," says Winnie. "And on my marriage license, I'm a year older than what I am."

They snuck off to the Perry County Courthouse so nobody would find out.

"And they said it wouldn't last," laughed Winnie.

But it was a feathery start, living on the family farm.

 "We remodeled a chicken house," shared Robert.

They were there six months before moving to Carbondale. Robert served as a State Police Officer for 27 years. Winnie worked from home as a beautician.

"Marriages are not made in heaven," says Winnie. "It's something you gotta work at and it's 50-50."

They are now retired with three kids, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Winnie says they're just as happy now as they were 60 years ago.

 "I can't imagine living without him," Winnie said.

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