Inspiring couples: 56-year marriage reflects commitment at home and in serving others

With tender care and devotion, high school sweethearts Bill and Shirley McConnell nurtured a crippled miniature horse to become a crowd-pleasing therapy animal.Those who know them best said the pair bring that same level of commitment and devotion to everything they do, especially their 56-year marriage. The key to their long-lasting love? Genuine friendship. “We’re best friends,” Shirley McConnell said, smiling. “In other words, if I weren’t married to Bill, he would be somebody that I admire. You have to respect each other and love one another.”
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