Sponsored by Worldwide Marriage Encounter
Annual Search Begins for Longest Married Couples in United States
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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.,—The annual search is on for the longest married couple in the United States, it was announced today by Worldwide Marriage Encounter (WWME), the original faith-based marriage enrichment program in this country.
This is the third consecutive year for the highly acclaimed project recognizing couples for their long marriages. Two years ago Marshall & Winnie Kuykendall from Lordsburg, New Mexico, were honored for 82 years of marriage, while this year Wilbur & Theresa Faiss of Las Vegas, Nevada were honored for 78 years of marriage. There were also 50 state winners recognized at the same time each year for their longest marriages. There have been over 600 couples nominated for the honors during the last two years. Winners were selected from nominations submitted.
“Once again we want to honor the longest married couple in the United States, as well as in each of the 50 states and territories. The national winners will be recognized during Valentine’s Week 2013, which coincides with World Marriage Day, which is the second Sunday of February,” explained Dick & Diane Baumbach and Fr. Dick Morse, the coordinators for the special project.
An Alumni Club was started for previous national and state winners. Previous state winners can vie for the national title, but they also are now considered members of the alumni of longest married couples in their individual states. This allows for new couples to be recognized across the country. “It is an appropriate time in our marriage enrichment ministry to recognize a husband and wife who have been married for many, many years,” the coordinators explained.
In addition to the longest married couple for the entire United States, recognition will also be given to a couple from each state and territories who has achieved that distinction. In the case of the United States couple, appropriate gifts will be presented to them at a ceremony to be held at their location during Valentine’s week. The state winners will receive personal recognition and a special certificate of achievement from the Worldwide Marriage Encounter movement.
Nominations, which are open to all husband and wife couples regardless of religious affiliation, may be submitted by email, regular mail or by calling a special phone number.
Worldwide Marriage Encounter has been offering weekend experiences for over 44 years and is considered the original faith-based marriage enrichment program. The programs are continually updated to keep abreast of changes in society, and WWME now offers evening and half-day programs that are presented at parishes and other church facilities. The weekend program, traditionally presented as an overnight experience at a hotel or retreat center, can also be presented at the parish where the couples return to their homes in the evenings. WWME has a presence in almost 100 countries, which makes it the largest pro-marriage movement in the world. In North America, the WWME programs are presented in English, Spanish, French, and Korean languages.