The love story of John and Judy Wills began at a barn dance in Myrtleford.

The Woodend couple admit they didn’t think much of each other that night, but friendship, then romance, blossomed and the two eventually married on May 11, 1957.

“I didn’t think John was anything special when we first met,” Mrs Wills said.

“We found we had common interests and a few things to talk about and then we kept seeing each other.”

This week, they will mark their 60th anniversary with family and friends – including members of their wedding party flying in from overseas and interstate.

“Time seems to have flown by,” Mr Wills said. “There’s no great secret to a long marriage – it’s about give and take. You have to respect one another.”

The Wills said their greatest achievement was raising 10 children – two girls and eight boys.

They set down roots in the Ranges more than three decades ago, with Mr Wills working as a tradesman with Mrs Wills taking care of the family.

“Our family just kept growing,” Mrs Wills said.

But heartbreak struck with the loss of two sons, one in a car accident and another to illness.

The couple will reminisce over their years together at a dinner this Thursday.