A local couple will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary Saturday.

Ron and Shirley Akers, both 79, married in 1957 at the age of 19 in Wooster, Okla. They met at a basketball game at Eastern Oklahoma A&M, now Eastern Oklahoma State College, where Ron was a student, in Shirley’s hometown of Wilburton, Okla.

“He tells everybody he got me off the top of a mountain, and that’s about true,” Shirley said.

Shirley noticed Ron, she said, as he was engrossed in the basketball game.

“I was watching the ball game, and she wanted to grab me,” Ron said.

Shirley asked a friend to introduce them.

“Anybody that’d be that interested in a ball game, I thought what a good daddy they’d be,” Shirley said.

They were married the next year.

Both had never dated before they met each other, they said - though Shirley pointed out to Ron that he had taken one girl out to the movies.

Now the couple, who live together at Legacy Heights Retirement Center in Van Buren, have two children, five grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, they said.

“She is a pretty nice gal,” Ron said of his wife. “We’ve been through a lot of stuff together. We weathered the storm.”

Shirley agreed.

“He’s been a great husband,” Shirley said. “He won’t argue with me.”

Asked the secret to the longevity of their marriage, Ron answered “love” and Shirley said “loving each other.”

“We never have a cross word,” Shirley said. “Well, you can’t fight with someone who won’t fight with you.”

Shirley is not aware of any divorce in the couple’s families, she said.

“When we got married, we got married knowing we were going to stay together,” Shirley said.

The couple will celebrate the anniversary of their nuptials on Sunday.