By Amaris Castillo

CHELMSFORD -- The love between Omer and Camille Matte was felt strongly Saturday as the Dracut couple sat in the Palm Center, a Genesis HealthCare long-term care facility in Chelmsford. Omer, 90, kissed his wife's hand, and she flashed him a bright smile.

The Mattes wed decades ago, on April 8, 1950, at St. Louis Parish in Lowell, after meeting as teenagers.

They have been together through thick and thin since then, and Omer now goes to see Camille, who has early-onset dementia, twice a day at the Palm Center for a few hours.

Even after nearly 70 years together, the 90-year-olds still have plenty to share about their relationship. With Valentine's Day approaching, the Mattes on Saturday -- with support from their three daughters and relatives -- sat down with The Sun to answer some key questions on marriage longevity. Below are their answers.

Q: How does it feel being married to your spouse after all these years?

Omer: "Just like the first day, really, honestly. I loved her when I first saw her at 16, and I still love her today at 90, and I don't know how to explain it any other way."

Camille: "Well, I love being married to him. Why wouldn't I be?"

Tell me about your wedding day. Any particular part that sticks out to you?

Camille: "I had a navy-blue outfit with a navy blue-hat that had a mesh pom-pom thing, and I loved it.


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When I came home, I decided to iron that pom-pom thing and it melted under the iron. I was heartbroken 'cause I didn't have too much money to replace it."

Omer: "I had my sister there as the bridesmaid and her brother, and we got along very good all our lives. I remember that very clearly."

What is the key to a long and successful marriage?

Omer: "Number one is love. Unconditional love, never wavered."

Camille: "Never cheated."

Omer: "And trust."

Camille: "Love and trust. That's for sure."

What is something your spouse does that annoys you or drives you crazy?

Camille: "Nothing, I don't think ..."

Omer: "I clean a lot and she calls to me, 'Put the dust rag away and sit down!'

Camille: "Not too much."

Omer: "Not too much, but I could never put anything over on her and I could never lie to her, and I never did because she would find out."

How would you describe your husband?

Camille: "He's beautiful. I love him very much."

How would you describe your wife?

Omer: "She doesn't ask for much. She's satisfied with what she has, and all she wants to do is be happy."

What is the best advice you can give to wives?

Camille: "Do what you can to please him. If I know he's going to like a special supper, I'll make it for him, you know? No matter what I wanted to make, I'll make his special supper."

What is the best advice you can give to husbands?

Omer: "You got to marry for love and I don't want to say the other word, because that's when it fails."

What's the other word?

Omer: "Sex. A lot of them do that, and I think that's the root of why 50 percent of marriages don't last. It's not true love."

When you have disagreements, how do you make up?

Camille: "I keep my mouth shut. That gets him mad. I don't talk."

Omer: "To me, it's kind of easy. We have disagreements and, whether she's right or wrong, I always apologize so I can stay in the house."

Where did you honeymoon?

Omer: "We went to Montreal, Canada."

What do you love about your spouse?

Camille: "His honesty. He can be gone a long time, and I don't worry about him or what he's doing."

Omer: "I've got to say everything. That's why our marriage has lasted all this time."

Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo. Her email address is acastillo@lowellsun.com.