It was love at first sight in 1940 for Keith Reynolds when he first laid eyes on Wanda Smith
"Somehow I knew I met the woman of my life," he said.
The now 88-year-old Raytown resident is celebrating a milestone with the same woman he married on Nov. 23, 1942, in Henry County, MO.
The two were joined by family and friends at First Baptist Church of Raytown on Saturday for what some may call a 70-year miracle.
What is their secret to seven decades of marriage?
"You have to cooperate. There is a lot of give and a lot of take," 88-year-old Wanda Reynolds said.
And helping to finish her sentence, like her husband is sometimes known for doing, Keith adds, "It is more give than take. And to take care of me like she does, she would have to love me."
They also say there is a lesson here to be learned between the couple.
"If you treat each other with respect and kindness, you get that back in return," she said.
And that is what Keith and Wanda have done over the years.
Keith met Wanda two days before she turned 16 on July 14, 1940. The two dated when they could until they married Nov. 23, 1942.
Their marriage happened very suddenly. Keith said they didn't have a pastor after Wanda's minister came down with cancer. But thanks to his father, he knew of a pastor in Clinton, MO.
So the two traveled to the pastor's home on a Monday night and joined hands in marriage.
Keith grew up on a farm outside of Clinton with his brother and two sisters. Wanda lived not too far from him in Deepwater, MO, with her sister and six brothers. Over the next 30 years, the two would work to support each other and eventually raise a family.
In 1973, the couple moved their family to Raytown, raising 10 children. They have 22 grandchildren and 44 great-grandchildren. They currently live in the same home 40 years later.
Before Keith retired, he worked at Allis-Chalmers, a Gleaner manufacturing company in Independence that made the first self-propelled combine harvesters. He also served his community as an area pastor for many years.
He was a Baptist minister for several years, including Faith Baptist Church, a small North Kansas City church on North Brighton Avenue. He also pastored in Excelsior Springs at Excelsior Springs Baptist Temple.
When Keith was 85, he sat down at the computer and for many months he typed, while Wanda proofread his book, "Stephanie Grows Up."
He said it was inspiration from a story he heard on the news of a 93-year-old man that had written a book.
Keith's book was not good enough that a publisher wanted to print it, but he finished it, self-published it and has sold a few copies. He, like his family, is very proud of the book.
Wanda grew up in the grocery business. Her father owned Smith's Groceries in Deepwater, MO. She worked there until moving to Kansas City to start a family, where she would be a stay-at-home mom.
Over the years, the two have seen 19 U.S. presidents move into the White House. And during their courtship, the couple recalls gas at 11 cents and movies were only $1.
However, money was tight for the two while they were dating, and Wanda recalls enjoying their youth together with picnics and board games.
"I just seemed to like him, I guess," Wanda Reynolds said. "I love him."
And for those who have been touched by lives of the Reynolds, it is no wonder that the love the two have shared has endured for the last 70 years.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 9:00 AM EDT2014-03-11 13:00:39 GMT
A man has been arrested in connection with the 2012 beating death of a 70-year-old man in New Britain, police said.Alexis Rodriguez, 32, was identified as the suspect in the murder of James Joseph, Sr.,More >
A man has been arrested in connection with the 2012 beating death of a 70-year-old man in New Britain, police said.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 8:28 AM EDT2014-03-11 12:28:24 GMT
A Hartford police sergeant was in the hot seat following a high speed chase that was caught on camera. A few weeks ago, Sgt. Eric Smith barreled through a red light on a city street, hit speeds of 80 milesMore >
A Hartford police sergeant was in the hot seat following a high speed chase that was caught on camera.More >
Monday, March 10 2014 6:49 PM EDT2014-03-10 22:49:18 GMT
One of the two men accused in a deadly Cheshire home invasion in 2007 was found "unresponsive" in his cell Monday morning.Steven Hayes, who was convicted in a 2007 attack in which Jennifer Hawke-PetitMore >
One of the two men accused in a deadly Cheshire home invasion in 2007 was found "unresponsive" in his cell Monday morning.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 12:13 PM EDT2014-03-11 16:13:37 GMT
Firefighters in West Haven are on the scene of an early morning fire. Officials said the fire was called in at 89 Coleman Street shortly after 4:30 a.m. There is no word on if anyone has been injured. WFSBMore >
Officials said a couple and their grown daughter were killed in an early morning fire Tuesday at a West Haven condominium complex.More >
Tuesday, March 11 2014 7:51 AM EDT2014-03-11 11:51:06 GMT
Health officials are investigating two cases of measles in Fairfield County and now, schools are warning parents about the disease.An adult, whose age was not provided, and an infant got the measles, accordingMore >
Health officials are investigating two cases of measles in Fairfield County, and now schools are warning parents about the disease.More >
Monday, March 10 2014 9:25 AM EDT2014-03-10 13:25:30 GMT
Patients and doctors said they were worried that their personal information was exposed after someone found medical records from a lab in Newington.Therese Carey said she was surprised when EyewitnessMore >
Patients and doctors said they were worried that their personal information was exposed after someone found medical records from a lab in Newington.More >
Monday, March 10 2014 5:12 PM EDT2014-03-10 21:12:44 GMT
State police are investigating a medical incident in Lebanon Monday morning. Officers were called to a scene on Smith Road around 8:50 a.m. The incident remains under investigation by state police andMore >
State police are investigating after two people were found dead in a motor vehicle in Lebanon Monday morning.More >