It was love at first glance for Rene Aufort some 80 years ago. Rene was in second grade when he found the love of his life in the same classroom. He proclaimed that love with an “I love you” note and a penny. Thus began the love affair of Rene and Rita Aufort.

On August 10, the two celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary with close friends at Stoneridge Creek, their home for two years. And they followed up with a nice dinner out on the town.

The Auforts say their patience and understanding for one another have gotten them through thick and thin. Rita says she stood by her husband as he served in World War II and eventually becoming captain of the San Francisco Police Department. Rene was always a dedicated husband who was excited when Rita decided to open her own gift shop in Millbrae, where she worked for 18 years.

Residents and staff at Stoneridge Creek often come to them for marriage advice. They say the secret is “lots of patience and understanding.”