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Oklahoma Inspiring Couples: Spencer couple shares secret to 55-year marriage

BY CARLA HINTON Modified: October 25, 2010 at 2:50 pm •  Published: February 13, 2010

Bill and Sybil Newcomb said the secret to their 55 years of wedded bliss is not rooted in a newfangled trend or cutesy philosophy.

The Spencer couple said their commitment to togetherness is based on one simple thing: They love being with each other.

"We shared our lives all the way through. If one of us had a problem, we both had a problem. If one of us had something to be joyful about, we both had something to be joyful about,” Bill said, smiling.

The Newcombs said they have rarely spent time apart, and it’s the key to their enduring union. From their dates sitting in a back booth of Kelly’s Lake Truck Stop in Bristow to their golden years of today, the couple said they have been together all the way.

"We rarely go anyplace without each other. If you like something, well then, the other person should like it, too,” Sybil said.

Their love and friendship have helped the Newcombs thrive as they raised two children together and experienced the highs and lows of various careers — he as an oil refinery worker and longtime rodeo performer and rodeo clown, and she as an Oklahoma County sheriff’s officer.

And they’ve faced their share of challenges — but always together. They learned that Bill had a child he never knew about from a relationship he had before their own romance and subsequent marriage. Sybil was in the federal courthouse in downtown Oklahoma City when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed in 1995.

"We’ve been through some interesting times, but we have made it through,” Sybil said.

Life of love, laughter, hope
Sybil said she and Bill met at a basketball game in Bristow.

She said Bill had just come back from serving in the Army in Korea, and he was at the game with another girl.

"There were no sparks right off,” she said.

Sybil said she was a friend of his sister’s and captured Bill’s attention after she accidentally sprayed Bill and his friend with a soft drink. She said she insisted on taking the silk jacket (from his travels in Japan) he wore to get it dry-cleaned because of the mess from the soda. When Bill retrieved the jacket from the cleaners himself, he visited her home and romance blossomed.

Sybil, 73, said her sister warned her about dating Bill, and some rodeo friends of his told her she didn’t know what she was getting into.

Later, however, "they told me they thought I had tamed him,” she said, laughing.

Bill said he knew he wanted to marry Sybil because she meant more to him than any other girl he had dated. He said he sold his professional bronc-riding saddle to buy her ring. She was 17 and he was 25 when they married.

Sybil said they had very little besides a car when they started out, setting up house in a small rental. She said they reared their two children, Duana Newcomb and Billy Don Newcomb, in several states, including Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Know It: Religion and Spirituality Inspiring Couples

Editor's Note:

Bill and Sybil Newcomb are the first couple featured in the "Oklahoma's Most Inspiring Couples" 2010 calendar, sponsored by the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative. Their faces can be seen for the month of February. The couples spotlighted in the calendar will be profiled in The Oklahoman's Life section each month. Couples selected for the 2010 calendar were nominated by their families and friends because of their commitment to marriage.


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