Lovebirds Celebrate 73rd Anniversary by Recreating Their First Date at a Seattle Hotel

PHOTO: Ray and Mavis Phaneuf celebrated their 73rd anniversary by recreating their first date at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.
PlayCourtesy of Terri Allman and Mark Smith
WATCH Lovebirds Celebrate 73rd Anniversary by Recreating First Date at Hotel

Ray and Mavis Phaneuf celebrated their 73rd anniversary by recreating their first solo dinner date at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.

This time, however, the couple was joined by their family, who had arranged the special treat to commemorate the occasion.

"It was wonderful," Mavis, 94, told ABC News. "That’s where we had our first dinner date. All we knew was we were going back to the Olympic hotel. We didn’t know anything else they had planned. It was much bigger and better than I had thought. I thought we were going out to lunch, but we were in the Georgian room."

PHOTO: Ray and Mavis Phaneuf celebrated their 73rd anniversary by recreating their first date at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.
Courtesy of Terri Allman and Mark Smith
Ray and Mavis Phaneuf celebrated their 73rd anniversary by recreating their first date at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.

The lovebirds first met during World War II through mutual friends.

"It was a blind date," Mavis recalled. "A friend of mine had gone with a fella in the Navy and he asked Ray if he wanted a date and he said, ‘Yes,’ and it worked out, 73 years ago."

"I was at the University of Washington finishing up my last quarter, and he was in the Navy there," she added. "He was handsome and had a real nice uniform and he looked real nice to me."

PHOTO: Ray and Mavis Phaneuf celebrated their 73rd anniversary by recreating their first date at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.
Courtesy of Terri Allman and Mark Smith
Ray and Mavis Phaneuf celebrated their 73rd anniversary by recreating their first date at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.

Mavis joked that her husband was "afraid" to ask her on a second date, fearing that she would say "No."

"But I was waiting for him to ask me," she said. "Of course I said 'Yes.'"

They wed in 1943 and now have four kids, seven grandkids and six great-grandchildren.

PHOTO: Ray and Mavis Phaneuf celebrated their 73rd anniversary by recreating their first date at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.
Courtesy of Terri Allman and Mark Smith
Ray and Mavis Phaneuf celebrated their 73rd anniversary by recreating their first date at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.

And she still remembers what she dined on all those years ago at the hotel.

"I just had teeth pulled so I ate soup," she said. "I don’t remember what he had."

PHOTO: Ray and Mavis Phaneuf celebrated their 73rd anniversary by recreating their first date at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.
Courtesy of Terri Allman and Mark Smith
Ray and Mavis Phaneuf celebrated their 73rd anniversary by recreating their first date at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel in Seattle.

As for the key to their successful marriage?

"I have a lot of patience," she laughed. "That’s what it takes."

"You’ve got to pick the right girl," said Ray, 96.

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