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A lifetime of working together

In 1950, Billie and Gerald Cox graduated in the same high school class at Mound City, Kansas. Two years later, the two wed at Prescott - and they spent the next 72 years working side by side.

“I worked for a year and a half at Blue Cross and Blue Shield before we got married,” Billie said. “After that, I just worked with Gerald on the farm.”

Gerald, who will turn 92 in June, spent most of his life on the same piece of ground.

“I was born and raised on the same farm for 85 and a half years until I had to move into Presbyterian Village for a bad heart valve,” Gerald said. “We’ve been here a little over six years. It’s been a wonderful place to live. Everyone here is wonderful.”

Despite the positive experience, Gerald admitted it was tough to leave a place that had been home for so long.

“I was reluctant after living on the farm for 85 years, handling cattle,” he said. “It was kind of hard to adjust and not be on the farm. But I got used to it.”

Billie, who is 93, shared her advice to anyone working on a long and healthy marriage.

“My advice to young people, I tell them you’ve got to give, and you’ve got to take,” she said. “It can’t all go one way.”

“It worked for us,” Gerald added.

Throughout their marriage, Billie and Gerald had two children, a boy and a girl. But their family has grown to include 11 great-grandchildren - with most remaining in the area around Fort Scott.

Gerald spent his working years handling cattle and working the farm. Billie enjoyed quilting and crocheting - crafting special pieces for each of her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“She’s very talented,” Gerald said.

The couple also enjoys traveling and they’ve visited every state in the country, except Hawaii.

“We did take a trip to Alaska, and got to see Mount McKinley,” Gerald said. “We had a lot of fun. When we were younger and our family was younger, we tried to take the children with us all the time when they were growing up.”

Join us in helping Gerald and Billie in celebrating nearly 73 years of sharing their lives together.

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