More than 60 years has gone by since Bob and Jacqueline Lamonte of Copperas Cove went on their first date at a restaurant by the ocean.
She was 20 and he was 23, Bob Lamonte said, and they’d been set up on a blind date by friends. Except it wasn’t really a blind date because he’d watched her drive in and out of the gas station where he worked.
After some dancing and few drinks, they “clicked,” and it didn’t take long for Bob Lamonte to decide she was “the one.”
“I asked her (to marry me) that night,” he said. “In fact, I don’t think I asked her, I told her... I just knew.”
Jacque Lamonte knew he was “the one,” too.
“My mother, when I went got home, said I had floated up the stairs. And she knew that I had met the right one,” she said.
Bob Lamonte spent many years in the military, serving nearly a year in Korea and 3½ years in Vietnam. While he was at war, his wife spent her time raising their children and supporting him.
When he came back, she became active in several volunteer organizations. Bob Lamonte retired several decades later as Fort Hood’s Chief of Family Housing.
In their 80s now and with 61 years of marriage behind them, the Lamontes, who are originally from Long Island, New York, have four children, seven grandchildren, one great-grandchild and two children of very close family friends whom they consider “adopted.”
Jacqueline Lamonte said dedication to family, accepting each other’s work circumstances and being best friends are keys to a long marriage.
“I always say you have to communicate and you have to be in love,” she said. “We’re as in love as we were in the beginning,”