LaVere Robinson's love for family was revealed in her hugs. Max and LaVere's love would fascinate anyone who knew their story.
"You could tell that he still loved her and it was moving," said Café Via Matt Babcock. "It was really neat."
The Café Via owner helped the Robinsons celebrate Valentine's Day this year, sending truffles and a rose home with Max. It was the couple's 83rd Valentine's Day together. They got married in 1929, just one week after the stock market crash that led to the great depression, and family members said it would never last. Forty years after that they built a house together and 40 years after that, they were still together, still in the same house.
"I think they've proven [those family members] very wrong," said granddaughter Kelly Magill. "It's an amazing life they lived together."
That life led to three daughters, 12 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren. It started in the Bay Area, but Max's work brought them to Fresno in 1946. From the grocery business, to insurance, to real estate, Max worked until he was 100 years old, and he did it all in style.
"He was always dressed to the nines," said Brina Harwood, who worked with Max at Thomason Development. "In fact, he never wore jeans unless he planned on getting dirty."
The Robinsons traveled together in motor homes and on just about any boat they could board. Max liked to sneak the occasional junk food, but Magill says LaVere was also his partner in extending life.
"I truly think part of it had to do with how well they took care of each other," the granddaughter said. "Grandma was pretty good about 'Max, eat the broccoli.'"
Long life led to their long love. Those who knew them say Max and LaVere's love never seemed to age, but it did mature.
"Grandma always said 'Be patient with each other,'" Magill said. "They always were affectionate with each other. Before they'd go to bed, even to the very end, grandpa would go in and kiss grandma good night."
Even as Alzheimer's disease started to chip away at Max's memory, he always remembered LaVere and her goodnight kiss. Her health started to fail after she turned 100 last year, but family members say she hung on -- not wanting to leave her husband alone. When he died at the age of 101 shortly after a fall, LaVere followed him three days later.
"Once she knew he was gone or was going, it was like she had peace and she just let go," Magill said.
In death, LaVere is back with Max -- the Robinsons, together forever.