How Did Joanna Gaines’ Parents Meet? Are They Still Together?

When it comes to beloved TV couples that make our hearts sing, Chip and Joanna Gaines are top of mind. Not only did fans fall in love with them on Fixer Upper, but thanks to their Magnolia business ventures, community events in Waco, Texas, and five kids, we feel like we know the Gaines family just as well as anyone. You may not know much about their extended family, however — and Joanna Gaines’ parents have quite the story regarding how they met.

Here’s all about Joanna Gaines’ parents, including if they’re still together.

They met when Joanna’s father was stationed in South Korea

Nan and Jerry Gaines, Joanna Gaines' parents
Nan and Jerry Gaines, Joanna Gaines’ parents | Joanna Gaines via Instagram

Joanna mentions on Instagram that though the odds were not in her parents’ favor, they still managed to make their relationship work when they first met. Nan and Jerry first met in 1969 when Jerry was stationed in South Korea during the Vietnam War, and according to Joanna, their love 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.”

According to Country Living, Joanna’s mother, Nan, spotted Jerry at a party. And Nan told her friend that he was the one she was going to marry one day. “Her friends thought she was crazy, but she says she just knew,” Joanna wrote in The Magnolia Story.

They kept in touch through letters when Joanna’s father returned to the states

Nan and Jerry Gaines, Joanna Gaines' parents
Nan and Jerry Gaines, Joanna Gaines’ parents | Joanna Gaines via Instagram

Since Nan lived overseas and Jerry was from the states, the two knew their relationship was never going to be easy. And Country Living notes a few months after they met, Jerry moved back to the U.S. — but the two managed to keep in touch through letters. By 1972, Jerry sent Nan a plane ticket and asked for her hand in marriage. Though their parents didn’t necessarily agree with the union, they wed.

In The Magnolia Story, Joanna notes things weren’t always solid with her parents. She mentions that for years they were unsure if their marriage would last since they were constantly fighting. Cultural differences and alleged drug use started to drive them apart.

Yes, they’re still together

Joanna Gaines' parents
Joanna Gaines’ parents | Joanna Gaines via Instagram

Despite the rocky years of early marriage, Nan and Jerry managed to make it work — and Joanna thinks the turning point was when her father’s mother passed away. Jerry then began working Waco, Texas, at the Firestone tire store — and that’s still where Jerry and Nan live today. Now, they’re celebrating over 45 years of marriage together and enjoy all of the grandchildren Joanna and her siblings are providing. As Joanna puts it in this Instagram post from 2016, “Nearly 45 years later and they’ve never been stronger.”

We’re sensing Chip and Joanna are also well on the pathway to a long and healthy marriage like her parents, too. The couple has over 15 years of marriage under their belt with no signs of marital strife evident.

Chip met Joanna when visiting her dad’s automotive shop

While we may not hear about Joanna’s parents too often, we do know that without her dad, they may have never met each other. Chip saw Joanna’s photo in her dad’s Firestone tire store when he was in his 20s — and after that, he knew he had to meet her. He started frequenting the shop more than ever after that. “My buddies used to always joke that no one could get their brakes done as often as I got my brakes done,” he said.

Finally, he saw Joanna in the shop — and the two hit it off immediately. Though Joanna reportedly took awhile to completely warm up to Chip, they eventually married. Now, they’re totally unstoppable.

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