HGTV fans have long been following the marriage of Joanna Gaines and her husband Chip, on and off their show, Fixer Upper. But it turns out Joanna Gaines' parents really set an incredible example of what true love looks like after over 45 years of marriage.
— Joanna Gaines (@joannagaines) April 4, 2020
Her parents met for the first time when her father was stationed in Korea. Joanna provided a bit of backstory when she wished them a Happy Anniversary on her Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
Happy 45th Anniversary to these two! My parents met in 1969 when my dad was stationed in Korea and their story is one you hear about in the movies. All the odds were against them but they fought through and became an example of how to love, fight for, extend grace to, and honor each other amidst all their many differences. Here's to many more years! ❤️
"My parents met in 1969 when my dad was stationed in Korea and their story is one you hear about in the movies. All the odds were against them but they fought through and became an example of how to love, fight for, extend grace to, and honor each other amidst all their many differences."
Jerry Stevens met Nan when he was at a party in Seoul, Korea. In The Magnolia Story, Joanna explains that her mother saw her father sitting alone at the party and told her friend that she knew she was going to marry him. Jerry had to return home to the United States shortly after they met, but that didn't stop the couple from continuing their relationship by communicating with letters.
One day, Nan got a plane ticket in the mail along with a proposal letter from Jerry. Despite all odds being against them -- including disapproval from their parents -- she accepted. The couple was married by a Vegas Justice of the Peace in 1972 and have been together ever since.
Unfortunately, there were some issues at the beginning for Joanna's parents. Other than the cultural differences between the two, there was some drug use that was causing a rift between the couple and a lot of fighting. But after Jerry's mother passed away, he decided to turn things around for the sake of his family. He got a job with Firestone that took the family to Waco, Texas. It was that very Firestone Tire shop where a young Chip Gaines saw a photo of Joanna on the wall and knew he would marry her one day.
Jerry and Nan Stevens had a total of three daughters -- Joanna, Mary Kay (known affectionately as Mikey), and Teresa. They also have a slew of grandkids -- Emmie, Drake, Duke, Ella, and Crew Gaines, as well as six kids on Mikey's side and a daughter and grandson on Teresa's side.