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By Aundrea Cline-Thomas

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/CNN) - Couples take their vows hoping to stay together forever. But marriage is hard work, too hard for many.

Despite the ups and downs, a Cookeville, Tennessee couple is still together after 81 years.

Lonnie and Jessie Mabrey have spent plenty of days together. As those days turned into years, Jessie's laughter punctuates sentences.

Lonnie's quick wit makes for interesting conversations.

Eighty-one years later, they still have that look.

They've been practically inseparable since first meeting as teenagers, bobbing for apples at a party.

"Instead of the apple I got the lips," said Lonnie.

"He was trying to get my lips and I was getting the apple," said Jessie.

And on August 11, 1931, "He picked me up in high school. We went to Albany, Kentucky and got married," said Jessie.

They didn't tell anyone.

"I didn't go back home for about a week. I was afraid to," said Jessie.

Looking back, they say things have been good, but they haven't always been easy.

"We had a good life all the way. I just lost my children. That was about the worst part we had," said Jessie.

Two of their sons died as infants. But their son, Bob, is the light of their life.

"The thing that they've relied on an awful lot has been their religion and their faith. That's something they've always had. I was raised with it," said Bob Mabrey.

No matter what life brings, they're in it together.

"We always talk things over, kind of agreed. I think it worked out ok. So far," said Jessie.

That's their secret. Lonnie's 101-years-old, and Jessie is still the apple of his eye.

These days the couple enjoys their grandchildren and great grandchildren.

They still live independently at their home in Cookeville.

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