Joe Degnan and Dottie Temple-Degnan are happy to sit down and talk about their pasts. They each had illustrious careers and could fill books with the knowledge and experiences they’ve accumulated in their 90-plus years in the world.

Dottie actually wrote a book, “Flowers White House Style,” about her time as a Chief Florist at the White House under the Reagan administration.

And Joe shares a wealth of military and scientific knowledge about his time in the Navy aboard the world’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus, and its journey to be the first submarine to reach the North Pole in 1958.

But perhaps the most fascinating story the couple shares is how they met while both were in their 80s and found love and adventure again.

They met online after a friend convinced Dottie, who was a widow at the time, to try online dating. Dottie was resistant at first.

“I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding. There’s no way in the world I want to do that,’” she recalled laughing. But her friend’s response, “If nothing else, it’s something to do in the evening and laugh about,” got her thinking.

Joe was already online after his first marriage ended.

Neither had to embellish their profile information.

“He fascinated me by what he had done. That was the first hook,” Dottie said, glancing across the table at her husband. “I couldn’t imagine being in a submarine in the first place let alone going under the ice.”

Joe too was fascinated by what Dottie had done in her life.

“Her little biography helped me out,” he said chuckling. “Wow, it worked.”

They corresponded online for two years before taking an opportunity to meet in person. At the time, Dottie was living in Mattapoisett. Joe was in Florida and coming up to New England in the spring and summer.

“I was here and I thought I might as well come in and see her,” he said about meeting Dottie. “And bingo, we went from there.”

They dated for the next two years. Then, four years ago, they got married in the chapel at the Naval Station in Newport.

Joe was 86 and Dottie was 89.

Their life hasn’t slowed down since.

Before they met, back in the 1950s, Joe had been a Navy electrician who was on a transport troop moving people, allowed to leave North Vietnam, to Saigon. He later made the switch to a submarine and eventually to the Nautilus. He says, jokingly, it was because he had a chance to visit a diesel submarine which had air-conditioning.

His first trip near the North Pole, in 1957 was a journey of discovering how vessels and their machinery operate in extreme under water conditions. They did not make it to the North Pole in ‘57, but they learned a lot.

“What we were doing of course was for the first time ever learning about what do you do up there under the ice,” he said, describing lakes, called polynyas, that exist between the icebergs and allow a submarine to surface.

Finding one big enough was not easy and the existence of smaller icebergs floating in them complicated surfacing further. “You come up very slowly and it looked clear, but there’s a thing called Bergy bits that are large ice cubes, you might say, that drift over that we didn’t see,” Joe explained during a presentation about a difficult surfacing at New Bedford’s Military Museum this winter. “It was a big mistake we had both periscopes up and came up under these Bergy bits and, bang, we went blind. We broke off both periscopes, so after that and other things the captain said, ‘That’s it. We’re getting out of here.’”

The early lessons helped the crew prepare for the next trip, which in 1958 successfully transited the Pole.

Dottie has similar tales of being a florist working with the White House for the Carter and first Bush administration. She later moved to Washington DC when she became chief florist under Reagan.

Dottie recalled creating floral arrangements for the G9 summit held at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. She and her staff used William and Mary College as their staging ground to create an elegant display for heads of state from France, United Kingdom, Canada, West Germany, Japan, Italy and U.S. She sometimes attended state dinners and once sat nearby the Shah of Iran.

Today, the couple spends their time traveling and enjoying life.

Dottie is 93 and Joe, proudly declares he will turn 91 in August. They take regular trips, sometimes just to see interesting sights.

“Joe likes to find all these great things, like the biggest ball of string,” Dottie said. “He makes me laugh and I know I make him laugh….I know that’s canned, everybody says laughter is the best remedy, but it really is. If you can laugh at yourself, the rest of it doesn’t really matter much. … We have a really happy relationship.”

They’ve both had health challenges but neither lets it slow them down. Joe, a cancer survivor who recently got a new hip, uses a walker and for longer trips, sometimes an electric chair.

They overcome, Dottie says.

“You have to make it work,” said Dottie. “Otherwise, you give up. You can’t give up.”

“Now is what’s important,” she continued. “I think we’ll both admit that we are the happiest now that we’ve ever been.”

Asked if they recommend online dating services for others, they both say yes enthusiastically.

But take it slow, Dottie cautions. “You have to use good judgment,” she said.

“Don’t jump into a situation that might not be what you’re looking for,” added Joe.