SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - Every couple has their own special love story.

Lois and Merle Lash have spent a majority of their lives together and now, they live at Centennial Pointe Senior Living in Springfield.

Growing up, Merle said he didn't know it at the time, but the love of his life was right under his nose.

"We grew up east of Vandalia, out in the country," Merle said. "We were born and raised within three miles of each other."

Fast forward to high school. That's were Merle and Lois laid eyes on each other for the first time.

"We went to high school together," Merle said. "She was two years ahead of me."

But, that's not where their love story began. It wasn't until a few years after they graduated that they saw sparks.

"One night at Country Church, her father's car was locked, when he went to leave church, and me being the good Samaritan said I'll take her home to get her keys," Merle said. 

"I thought, well why not," Lois said.

In 1959, Lois and Merle officially became Mr. and Mrs. Lash.

"I prayed to God about it, and here we are," Lois said.

"She was my soul mate," Merle said. "We both agreed on almost everything. I have to say this, we have never had a voice-raising confrontation." 

Lois and Merle offered up some advice to achieve a long, happy marriage.

"Anyone getting together, contemplating marriage; do not fly off the handle," Merle said. "If the other party flies off the handle, step back and think about is it worth the confrontation."

"No matter what happens, keep on loving that person and listening to what their idea is and try to make peace," Lois said.

The pair has been married more than half of a century and they said all this time later, their feelings for one another have not changed.

"I love her deeply," Merle said.

"I still love him to pieces," Lois said. "I wouldn't want anyone else."

The couple will celebrate their 61st wedding anniversary on Feb. 20.