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Sask. couple going strong 60 years after meeting at Valentine's dance

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Some say Valentine’s Day is all about the commercial hype, but for one Saskatchewan couple, it’s the day they made a lifelong love connection.

The love story of Ursula and Lawrence Popovitch started on February 14, 1961, at a Valentine’s dance.

“Well, it was love at first sight,” Lawrence told CTV News.

That meeting was back in 1961. Lawrence was 21 and Ursula was 17-years-old and in Grade 12.

They recall their first impression all those years ago.

“I remember her beautiful blonde hair and her face and she was very friendly,” Lawrence said.

“He was handsome and liked to dance. We did lots of dancing,” Ursula said.

Their moves on the dance floor solidified a lasting love.

Ursula remembers that dance fondly, although she admits it was so long ago and pinpointing the exact sentiment is difficult.

“That first dance went very well. It was nice and smooth. It must’ve been a polka because we both like to polka,” she said.

They admit that dance likely turned into a slow dance or a waltz, then, “I asked Ursula for a date, and she said yes.”

(Courtesy: The Popovitch family)

Now at 79 and 83-years-old, they’re still dancing.

This past weekend they hit the dance floor at a Valentine’s dance surrounded by their church family and friends — support they say has made all the difference over the years.

Every Sunday they drive in from their home in Bruno, about 50 minutes east of Saskatoon, to attend church service.

After being together for six decades, they say there is a secret to success.

“The secret to long marriage is to have love and respect for each other in the good times and hard times,” Lawrence said.

They’re no strangers to hard times either. They both had careers — Lawrence in national defence and Ursula as a teacher, all while raising three kids.

Their youngest daughter died about 10 years ago from illness, which was a difficult time for the family.

“You have to make a lot of sacrifices because things aren’t going on a rosy road like you think they should, and they might take a turn or something and you have to make a sacrifice and respect your spouse and trust that you keep going and doing the right things,” Ursula said.

Ursula and Lawrence Popovitch still love to cut a rug. (Carla Shynkaruk / CTV News)

Now they’re enjoying their golden years, with nine grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

They still live in the same community and follow some simple rules.

“Every night before we go to sleep, we have a good night kiss.”

But they’re realistic, and admit a good relationship requires compromise.

“Oh, if we’re fighting, sometimes there are some words and then everybody cools down and we’re OK,” Ursula said.

It may be a lifetime ago that they met on that dance floor, but their spark has remained. They say they usually go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day and celebrate their Feb. 8 anniversary in a double celebration of love together. 

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