If Virginia and Boise Burton were to give one piece of advice to any newly married couple, it would be this: “Live within your means.”
And that's just what they did, for 70 years — an anniversary the couple celebrated on Tuesday.
“She taught me that,” said her husband, 93-year-old Boise.
“Don't buy anything unless you've got money to pay for it,” Virginia added. “We followed that.”
The Burtons' 70th wedding anniversary was on July 23, but on Tuesday, Mayor Frank Quintero stopped by Scholl Canyon Estates to give the couple an official commendation.
Afterward, their daughter, Sandy Greenstein, urged her father to recall the advice he gave about treating each other with respect when the couple appeared in an ABC7 newscast.
“We did treat each other decently,” he said. “We didn't shout at each other.”
Virginia agreed: “As long as I got my way.”
The couple met at a Denver church in 1940. Virginia was 16 and a choir singer and Boise, then 21, was a part of the congregation. Virginia liked his looks and his curly hair.
But Boise invited Virginia's older sister to a skating party that had all the girls “waiting in line to get dates.”
“She was No. 2,” Boise added.
The skating party would still go down in history as the couple's first date. Once Virginia's family met Boise, her grandmother advised Virginia “to be nice to that clean, cute boy,” she said.
When the couple married in Denver in 1942, Virginia wore a white silk dress her mother made, Boise his naval uniform.
They would spend three years stationed in Norfolk, Va., where Virginia worked as a secretary for the Naval Air Inspection office. Boise was deployed to New Caledonia, an island in the South Pacific.
After his discharge, they raised a daughter and two sons in Littleton, Colo. They kept busy with their children's activities and served as leaders in the 4-H youth organization. Meanwhile, Boise worked for the Producers Livestock Credit Corp., providing loans to ranchers in the west.
After 56 years in Littleton, the couple moved to Glendale in 2010, leaving behind many friends who sent them dozens of cards and flowers for their anniversary.
Looking back, Virginia said she wouldn't change much — Boise agreed.
“We did the best we could wherever we were,” he said.