Surprise couple celebrates 70th wedding anniversary

SURPRISE, AZ - A couple from Surprise, Ariz., celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary Monday, at the ages of 90 and 92, according to their granddaughter.

Rex and Phyllis Daniels stood by each other through a deployment in World War II and countless moves across the country, their granddaughter Shellene Cockrell Cross said in a press release.

Cross says Rex and Phyllis are “still the epitome of love” and devote their lives to one another and their family.

“We just love each other, so we’ve stayed together,” Phyllis said in a press release. “We’ve never thought of anything any different. That’s just the way it is. Seventy years seems like a long time when you say it, like an awful long time, but it doesn’t seem like we’ve been together that long. I would do it again.”

Rex and Phyllis Daniels married in February 1944 after dating off and on several years. Shortly after they married, Rex shipped off to Germany, Luxembourg and Czechoslovakia as part of the U.S. Army in World War II.

But right before Rex deployed, the couple found out they were expecting a baby. While Rex was at war, he and Phyllis wrote each other every day, according to granddaughter Shellene Cockrell Cross. Rex would crawl into his sleeping bag to write letters by flashlight to Phyllis, Cross says.

After the war, Rex got his PhD in chemical engineering and moved across the country with the family at least 30 times for his job, Cross says. The family finally landed in Scottsdale and has been living in the Valley for the past 30 years.

The Daniels’ had only one daughter, who passed away after a stroke, but they have five grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren that keep them busy. 

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