Loretta Lynn celebrated what would've been her 74th wedding anniversary to Oliver Lynn (also known as Doolittle, Doo, and Mooney) on Jan. 10 with a photo of herself and her late husband.
"74 years ago, my life changed forever when I married Doolittle." Lynn captioned the Instagram post. "We had 48 years together and I sure wish he was still here! I miss him."
The couple wed when the former Loretta Webb was still a teenager. As covered in the Oscar-winning film Coal Miner's Daughter, Oliver met his future bride in Butcher Hollow (pronounced "Butcher Holler"), Kent. at a pie social.
After marriage, the couple relocated to Custer, Wash. to position Oliver for better work opportunities. That's where he would gift 21-year-old Loretta with a guitar. An ideal love story didn't exactly unfold from there, as Oliver's drinking and cheating inspired some of Loretta's best-known hits, including "Fist City," "You Ain't Woman Enough (To Take My Man)" and "Don't Come Home A-Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)."
"I married Doo when I wasn't but a child, and he was my life from that day on," Loretta wrote in her 2002 autobiography, Still Woman Enough. "But as important as my youth and upbringing was, there's something else that made me stick to Doo. He thought I was something special, more special than anyone else in the world, and never let me forget it. That belief would be hard to shove out the door. Doo was my security, my safety net. And just remember, I'm explainin', not excusin'."
The couple remained together as Loretta went from one of Nashville's top country singer-songwriters to a pop culture superstar and a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient. Along the way, Loretta changed the face of country music through close-knit friendships (her well-chronicled relationship with Patsy Cline), controversial hits ("The Pill"), memorable duets (namely with fellow country stars Ernest Tubb, Willie Nelson, and Conway Twitty), career resurgences (her work with Jack White) and major awards (in 1972, she became the first woman to win the CMA Awards' Entertainer of the Year honors).
Read More: Loretta Lynn's Siblings: Then and Now
Oliver died on Aug. 22, 1996, just five days before his 70th birthday. His death was attributed to diabetes-related health problems and heart failure. He was buried on the Lynn family estate in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee.
The couple had six children together: twins Patsy and Peggy (named for Loretta's sister, Peggy Sue Wright) plus Clara Marie (Cissy), Ernest Ray, Betty Sue, and Jack Benny Lynn.
Tommy Lee Jones played Oliver in Hollywood blockbuster Coal Miner's Daughter, opposite Sissy Spacek's role as Loretta.
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