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A 70-year love story, Connie & Rex Gordon

There wasn't a dry eye in the room as Rex and Connie Gordon renewed their wedding vows on Father's Day Sunday as Pastor Jerome Marroquin of SonRise Christian Fellowship Church officiated.

Surrounded by their three daughters, grandchildren and friends, the Gordon's platinum anniversary was filled with happy tales when Rex watched Connie stroll across the quad at San Jose State College and into his heart. It was love at first sight for him.

He retells it something like this. "When I saw her, I just knew she belonged with me." He said it was sort of "an epiphany."

"After all God brought her all the way from Boksburg, South Africa to this campus in San Jose, it must have been for me."

Rex is quick to admit how he was so smitten by this undergrad beauty that he pushed through his natural shyness just to approach her. He then turned his life topsy turvy to protect his heart until the day 70 years ago when she walked down the aisle and into his arms at Grace Baptist Church in San Jose.

A place she has never left.

According to daughter Linda, "we were observers to our parents on-going love story."

"Dad always put mom first," adding "their marriage has been an example for all of us."

When asked if there was a secret to their long union, Rex believes it is to be these simple truths: "Our Christian faith and never going to bed with unresolved issues."

Throughout the years, Rex's career in aerospace caused the family to move from California's coast to Pennsylvania's Valley Forge and back again with Connie steadfastly at his side. With her teaching credential in tow, Connie squeezed out time to teach intermittently at several Christian elementary schools while their family grew.

Before retiring, Rex and Connie selflessly rented their home to live with their oldest daughter and care for her new babies while the couple established their optometry practice.

When Rex retired at 65, they took a circuitous route from San Jose to Bonsall when they purchased two-first-class, around-the-world tickets from British Airways. These tickets allowed them multiple stops with extensive layovers, providing the entire trip went only in one direction and was completed within a year.

They started by jetting to the UK, toured southern England for a few weeks, then flew off to South Africa where Connie was united with cousins she'd never met before.

Over the following weeks, they visited the mission schools established by her grandparents while staying with cousins or timeshares. They stopped at Vicotria Falls, Cape Town, Durban, Krugger Park, and Mozambique before heading to Australia, New Zealand, and the Fiji Islands.

Eventually they landed at LAX on their way to their last home on a 4-acre hillside overlooking an avocado grove in Bonsall. That was 17 years ago.

They have been blessed with three daughters, Susan, Carolyn, and Linda; seven grandchildren, Brooklyn, Levi, Madison, Caleb, Shanthé, Shan, and Cullen along with six great-grandchildren.

In celebration of their platinum wedding anniversary, we are reminded by Google that only one in 10,000 marriages achieve the platinum status of a 70th Wedding Anniversary.

That said, after watching this couple for just a few hours on Father's Day Sunday, it was clear to all in attendance at their vow renewal, clearly this couple, Rex and Connie Gordon, are much more than one in 10,000, their endearing love is one-in-a-million.

Elizabeth can be reached at [email protected].


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