A serious commitment to their wedding vows has helped Pine Mountain Lake residents Joe and Joyce Smith throughout their 65-year marriage.

“I asked Joe what he thought was the secret to our long marriage,” Joyce wrote in an email. His response: “We still love each other and show our love, and we don’t argue.”

“I feel in the beginning, when we said our wedding vows, we were making a lifetime commitment,” Joyce said. “We have lived our promise to each other. Getting along well, having someone by your side during good times and bad, sharing your joys and sorrows is a blessing. I try to live by the Golden Rule.”

Joe and Joyce met at East Central State College in Ada, Oklahoma, where she was a freshman and he was a junior.

“It was just a chance meeting,” Joyce said.

Joe was a returning student and a “basketball star,” Joyce said, and he and a friend went to the switchboard operator at the girls’ dorm and asked for her to send down a couple of freshman girls.

“In those days, when you had a date, you went to the switchboard operator and they called the person, who went down to the living room area, not to the dorm,” Joyce said. “People weren’t just running around.”

Joyce and her roommate were randomly called by the operator.

“It was just a goofy thing for him to do,” Joyce said, adding that he “was kinda cute. It kinda went from there …”

Joe and Joyce were married on Aug. 31, 1952, at the Pauls Valley Methodist Church in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, and spent much of their married life in the Oakley-Brentwood area of California. Joe worked at DuPont’s Antioch plant and Joyce worked as a school secretary in Oakley.

Joyce said the family visited the Groveland area regularly to camp and eventually bought a cabin at Pine Mountain Lake, where they spent many weekends.

They moved to their cabin full time in 1990 after both retired, and moved into their current home after it was completed three years later.

In their retirement they have both enjoyed golfing, and Joyce volunteered for many years at a local thrift store. Joe is also a fan of the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants.

Their children are Stan and Karen Smith, of Livermore, Janett and Brad Hueber, of Clayton, Contra Costa County; and Stacye and Gary Burns, of Yuma, Arizona. They also have three grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

The couple spent some time at the lake Thursday on their actual anniversary and planned to celebrate today with friends at The Grill at Pine Mountain Lake, where they planned to dine and partake in karaoke.

“I sing karaoke,” Joyce said. “It should be fun.”