In the dining room of Brad and Carol Russell’s Pleasant Street home hangs a plaque that reads “All because two people fell in love.” In the center of the mahogany plaque is a picture of the longtime husband and wife, surrounded by their four children.
Their relationship started with a conversation on the train ride to work in 1961. Brad got on at the Stoughton stop, and Carol got on at Canton Junction. Both worked in Boston. Fifty years later, the two Stoughton residents are still together, married for the last 48 years, with four daughters and three grandchildren.
Carol Russell said she was drawn to Brad’s witty sense of humor. “He can always make you laugh,” she said.
Brad Russell said it was just a simple attraction that drew him to his future wife. “She’s just a great person,” he said.
Brad and Carol, both 69, graduated from Stoughton High in 1959, but weren’t in any classes together, didn’t date in high school and weren’t more than just acquainted classmates.
So they got to know each other after graduation, on the way to work. But, it wasn’t Carol who initially sparked Brad’s interest on these train rides.
“I was trying to pick up her sister,” he said, laughing.
“But my sister was engaged,” Carol added.
Carol’s sister suggested that Brad ask Carol out on a date. “I said I don’t think she’ll go out with me—she knows me,” Brad said.
But she did. The two started dating a couple of weeks after their first train conversation. They enjoyed going to drive-in movies and dance halls. Two years later, on August 24, 1963, they were married at the First United Methodist Church.
Their key to longevity: “Have respect for each other,” Carol said, “and never go to bed mad.”
Brad said it’s “being able to say yes or no to each other without getting into a big to do about it.”
Raising four daughters, Brad was the only male in the household. His key to success: “Never leave the seat up,” he joked.
Brad and Carol both worked at Brookfield Engineering (located in Stoughton until 1999, when it then moved to Middleboro) for a number of years until they both retired about five years ago.
“And we still get along,” Brad jokes.
From going to the movies, to eating out, to shopping, to playing cards, they said they enjoy spending time together. Both are active in their church community, now the First Parish Universalist Church, and both volunteer at the Council on Aging/Senior Center.
“We got married very young and today the kids aren’t, but I don’t think I’d change anything,” Carol said.
“It’s been a good run. I don’t know how else to put it. We’ve been very fortunate,” Brad added. “ We love each other.”